How can we help?


Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements and NDA’s – has anything changed?

It is well known that a select number of individuals and companies used confidential clauses in Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s) and Settlement Agreements to prevent the reporting of misconduct to organisations like the police. This was seen as unjust and society wanted change. However, there has been no change of law yet just numerous consultations and non-binding guidance including by ACAS (New ACAS guidance on the use of NDAs).

The current legal position is that an employer cannot prevent an employee or ex-employee from making a protected disclosure. The government has listened to the consultations and agreed to implement the following changes:-

  • Guaranteeing that nothing will prevent someone from reporting a crime to the police, regulated health and care professionals and legal professionals;
  • Clarifying the confidentiality limits in NDA’s; and
  • Requiring employees to take legal advice on the confidentiality clauses in a settlement agreement.

The government previously said that confidentiality clauses that did not follow with the proposed changes would be void. However , in their latest response to the consultations this precise wording was not used. We will only have clarity once the government publishes the proposed legislation. There is no clear timeline as to when the proposed changes will be implemented. In the interim solicitors drafting confidentiality clauses should be adhering to the SRA Warning Notice (Warning notice- Use of Non Disclosure Agreements)



The current legal position is that an employer cannot prevent an employee or ex-employee from making a protected disclosure.

Confidentiality clauses are still useful but need to be limited to ensure they do not prevent crimes and/or misconduct being reported.  Redrafting of these clauses will also be required following the decision in Duchy Farm Kennels V Steels (Settlement Agreements and Confidentiality Clauses).

Please contact our employment team us if you require advice on a confidentiality clause contained in an NDA or Settlement Agreement.

About this article

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

  • 12 June 2024
  • Privacy and Data Protection

UK data protection: Important basics

Sometimes, data protection can seem like unhelpful red tape. At other times, it is critical to cultivating a trustworthy reputation.

  • 11 June 2024
  • Immigration

UK Immigration Roundup – May to June 2024

As the UK approaches the upcoming general election, immigration remains a focal issue in political discussions. The Conservative party’s recent proposal to cap visas for skilled migrant workers has alarmed various industries who are concerned that a limit to migration could harm vital sectors of the UK economy.

  • 06 June 2024
  • Employment

Talking Employment Law: What does the new Worker Protection Act 2023 mean for employers?

In this podcast, Lucy Densham Brown and Shauna Jones, members of the employment team, will review the new Worker Protection Act 2023 and provide some guidance on how employers should review their policies in preparation for October.

  • 03 June 2024
  • Commercial Real Estate

Sustainability and commercial property: green leases  

Climate change is considered by many the biggest threat we are facing today. With the UK said to have one of the oldest housing/building stocks, the focus on a building’s environmental performance and sustainability has never been more critical.

  • 03 June 2024
  • Employment

Using AI technologies in recruitment: is it fair and transparent?

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, where artificial intelligence (AI) plays an increasingly pivotal role in HR and recruitment processes, ensuring responsible and ethical implementation is paramount.

  • 03 June 2024
  • Employment

Navigating the Labour Party’s New Deal for Working People: Legal implications and opportunities

Join Monica Atwal and Amanda Glover, for this in-person seminar on ‘Navigating the Labour Party’s New Deal for Working People: Legal Implications and Opportunities’ at our Reading office on Thursday, 20th June.