What is a confidentiality agreement?
A confidentiality agreement makes it crystal clear to an employee that he or she cannot disclose company secrets. An employer may ask an employee to sign a confidentiality agreement when someone starts a new job, to protect information, or after a dispute to keep the details confidential.
Confidentiality agreements are also known as non-disclosure agreements or NDAs.
When should an employer use a confidentiality agreement?
Not every employee will need to sign a confidentiality agreement, nor is it suitable for every type of organisation. In fact, a too-liberal use of confidentiality agreements could raise moral or ethical issues or lead to legal hot water. For example, confidentiality agreements cannot prevent individuals from blowing the whistle even if, on the face of it, that’s what the confidentiality agreement says.
However, when the employer legitimately needs a lot of protection for intellectual property, customer identities or other sensitive information, then confidentiality is a must.
Confidentiality agreements are also invaluable when an employer and employee make a settlement agreement to resolve a workplace dispute. In this instance, confidentiality clauses can both protect the compensation sum and other details of the agreement and also hide the fact that an agreement has been made.
How can Collyer Bristow help with confidentiality agreements?
While the basics of a confidentiality agreement are usually uncontroversial, for employers, there’s a delicate balance to be struck in order to protect the company’s reputation without overstepping the mark. We can help you:
- Determine whether a confidentiality agreement is needed
- Define what is deemed to be confidential
- Draft tailored confidentiality agreements to protect the company’s position
- Seek injunctions to prevent a breach of a confidentiality agreement
- Draft and claim clawbacks of settlement sums if confidentiality is broken
- Enforce a confidentiality agreement through litigation or other means
Our employment disputes team specialise in developing the best settlement and confidentiality terms possible for our clients. We act for employers of all sizes, including in complex transactions that include multiple settlements.