How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 60453
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I was made to sign an NDA (settlement) 2 years ago when

This answer was rated:

Hi, I was made to sign an NDA (settlement) 2 years ago when getting made redundant from a former employer. This was to cover up racism and sexism, by the Head of HR who is still in post. Was it illegal to make me sign an NDA when they have broken the Equality Act?
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Yes I am in perm employment, although not yet passed my probation. And yes I belong to Unite Union.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The Head of HR said some very insulting and naive things about the racial discrimination, and basically dismissing it and victim blaming me. The employer is a national charity. The Charity Commission however don't deal with HR issues like this so they told me! Isn't it in the national interest to expose this?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

What are you ideally hoping to achieve in the circumstances, please?Please note I am mobile at present so may not be able to reply immediately, thanks

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok thanks Ben, I would like to anonymously be able to talk about what they did given that the Head of HR is still in post. I would like to tell the Trustees about it. I would like to understand if they had a right to even make me sign the NDA if what they did was illegal in the first place, and they were covering up discrimination.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Ben, I need to get on the train now, shall we make a time to speak tomorrow? I am available in the morning? Say 10am?

Many thanks for your patience. You may have seen in the news over the last year or so that NDAs covering sexual harassment incidents were front-page stories (think Philip Green). What came out of all that is that they are actually lawful, even if they were attempting to cover up unlawful or discriminatory behaviour by an employer. It did, however prompt the Government to launch a consultation into this practice and to look at changing how the law on NDAs work so that such acts cannot be covered up unethically through NDAs. However, as far as the law currently stands, an NDA is still a legal tool that an employer can use to do this and if you breach it you would be in breach of contract and it is up to the employer to decide how to pursue that, if at all.

The only thing you cannot be prevented from doing is officially blowing the whistle on the acts which the NDA tried to silence.

https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing

Does this answer your query?

Ben Jones and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thanks Ben, so having read the whistleblowing policy, would you say given that the organisation is a registered national charity so raises money through fundraising- their breaking of the Equality Act is in the public interest?

That is the big question. Many would argue that this only impacts its employees as the discriminatory behaviour is only aimed at them, not the general public or donors. In truth, you won’t know until you or they have challenged it in court