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Universities are abusing gagging clauses, says law firm

Universities are using non-disclosure agreements to suppress legitimate concerns about the conduct of employees, an international law firm has said.

In its evidence to a select committee inquiry into the use of NDAs, law firm McAllister Olivarius said that so-called gagging clauses were used by some employers, “particularly in the education sector, to avoid conducting an investigation into discrimination or harassment allegations”.

“Employers often use NDAs to avoid the need to conduct a proper investigation and issue findings in response to a complaint,” the lawyers said. “The NDA may be offered to the accused employee or the complainant, but either way the allegations in the complaint are left untested and a risk unassessed.”

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