Printed title: Request to ban the use of confidentiality agreements Some universities have allocated most of their millions of NOA expenditures to voluntary redundancy packages, but lawyers doubt that if such cases were truly voluntary, gagging clauses would be required. Last month, I unveiled a devastating picture of irrelevant policies, patchy training and “terrifying” media coverage of mores about how universities deal with online harassment and hate crime. British universities are accused of using gagging orders to prevent harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct from becoming public. “Billing agreements with a standard confidentiality clause are used in a number of cases, including behavior, capabilities and redundancy. Since we are bound by confidentiality, we are not in a position to give details of their case. Confidentiality agreements designed to protect trade secrets are legal contracts that prevent individuals from disclosing private information. Dozens of academics told BBC News that they were “harassed” by their jobs and had to sign confidentiality agreements following complaints. “Like most organizations, universities use NDAs for many different reasons. Universities should not use ANN to prevent open conversations about harassment or prevent students from making other legitimate complaints. It receives more than 1,500 complaints a year and said it was important that complaints be dealt with in a “fair and transparent” manner so that universities could learn from them. Georgina Calvert-Lee, senior barrister at McAllister Olivarius, told MPs that NDAs were “overburdened to encourage systemic discrimination and harassment” in universities. The students said they felt pressured to sign confidentiality agreements, and said she would be expelled if she broke her contract. Calvert-Lee said universities needed to provide independent legal advice to affected employees, but as a general rule it was only “enough time to talk about the agreement and not the circumstances that resulted.” The BBC sent freedom of information requests to 136 UK universities and asked how much they had paid in comparisons containing “gag clauses.” According to data collected by THE, London Metropolitan University has relied most on confidentiality agreements over the past five years and has signed 473 confidentiality agreements. The University of Central Lancashire has signed 431, London South Bank University 413.
Nearly a third of UK universities use “non-disclosure agreements” to silence students, who have been sexually assaulted among the gagrs. Complaints include cases of sexual assault, moral harassment, poor teaching, housing problems, lack of disability support and poor advertisements for classes. Last year, it was reported that cases of sexual violence and harassment in universities had tripled in three years, with only 33 universities out of 124 using specialized investigators to interview the students who made the claims. Confidentiality agreements should prevent employees from sharing trade secrets when they change roles, which is legitimate and useful in areas such as intellectual property protection. But over time, NDAs have been used with an expanded definition of “secret” to cover information beyond traditional borders of trade secrets, often preventing a worker from leaving his employer and working in the same field.