Theresa May has hit out the unethical use of non-disclosure agreements after it emerged. The UK's top court had stopped…
Theresa May has hit out the unethical use of non-disclosure agreements after it emerged. The UK’s top court had stopped a newspaper naming a leading businessman at the center of sexual harassment and racial abuse allegations.
The prime Minister told MPs on Wednesday that it was “clear” that some employers were using non-disclosure agreements “unethically.”
Mrs May was responding to Jess Phillips, a Labor MP, who had previously threatened to use parliamentary privilege to name the executive that the Daily Telegraph was stopped from identifying.
Speaking during prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons, Ms Phillips, who has been a vocal campaigner on issues facing women in the UK, said: “It seems that our laws allow rich and powerful, but to pretty much do whatever they want as long as they can pay to keep it quiet. “
NDAs have been criticized for being used by the wealthy and powerful to silence victims of sexual harassment.
Mrs May said she could not comment on a case before the courts but assured MPs her government was still considering scrutiny of the use of NDAs or so-called gagging clauses.
Downing Street first promised to look at the use of NDAs in January in the wake of the Financial Times’ revelations regarding the behavior of some guests at the Presidents Club Charity Dinner, a men-only charity event.
Hostesses at The event, some of whom said they were sexually harassed, had been asked to sign NDAs beforehand. Many of the women who spoke out about sexual harassment by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had also signed the legally binding agreements.
The prime minister told MPs on Wednesday: “The government is going to bring forward Improve the regulation about non-disclosure agreements and make it absolutely explicit to employees when a non-disclosure agreement does not apply or can not be enforced. “
Before her question to the prime minister, Ms Phillips told the FT that if one of De victims of the unidentified businessman came forward and consented to her naming him in the House of Commons, she would be willing to do it.
“He should be named as long as that is what victims want.
In imposing the gagging order on the Telegraph, the UK’s Court of Appeal ruled that five employees who had made allegations against the senior executive had been given “substantial payments “Under settlement deals. This “compromised” their complaints, the judges said. The settlements contained non-disclosure agreements.
Judges Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Henderson overturned a High Court judgment from August that said the newspaper should not be gagged.
Their judgment did not name anyone involved in the case, apart from the newspaper. Det hevdet at de krav som havde søgt påbudet var “to virksomheder i samme gruppe og en senior executive of that group”.
It identified those who had made allegations against the executive as “five employees of group companies” who had made allegations of “discreditable conduct” against the senior executive. Three of them had also taken their claims to an employment tribunal.
6 July a Daily Telegraph journalist contacted the claimants with a view to obtaining their comments on a story which was proposing to publish about the complainants’ allegations,” The judges said. It was “clear”, they added, “that he was aware of the existence of the NDAs”.
In an editorial on Wednesday, headlined “The public has a right to know when the powerful seek to gag the vulnerable”, the Telegraph argued that preventing alleged victims of abuse from speaking out was not a proper use of non-disclosure agreements.
A Labor spokesman said the party was “committed to ensuring that it is no longer legal to have non-disclosure agreements that prevent disclosure of victimization or choking or discrimination”.