This morning former Miramax employee Zelda Perkins will appear in front of a parliamentary committee, pressing for changes into legislation on non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). The committee is investigating the use of NDAs in allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Ms Perkins broke an NDA she had signed with her former employer to reveal how Harvey Weinstein used legal contracts to silence alleged harassment victims.
NDAs have recently come under scrutiny, with the Solicitors Regulation Authority issuing warnings to firms not to use them to prevent the reporting of misconduct within their business.
However Gus Sellitto, Managing Director of Byfield Consultancy, highlights where the use of NDAs can be beneficial. He says:
“The Select Committee inquiry into the use of NDAs is urgently needed to uncover incidents where they have been used to cover up serious misconduct, including potential criminality, in order to prevent this from happening in the future. However, we have to be careful not to demonise the use of NDAs in all cases. Businesses and their employees will often use NDAs to avoid costly, stressful and sometimes very public disputes.
“Used properly, NDAs are often beneficial to both parties who want to settle their grievances quickly and privately, and with as little damage as possible to their respective reputations. Post Harvey Weinstein and the Presidents Club scandal, NDAs have become synonymous with serious wrongdoing. Clearly, this is not always the case.”