Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Chris Hadrill

In this article one of our specialist employment solicitors, Chris Hadrill, provides a brief introduction on what an NDA (“non-disclosure agreement”) is, what they are used for, when they should not be used, and why organisations use them.

What is an NDA?

An ‘NDA’ is short for ‘non-disclosure agreement’. A non-disclosure agreement can be either 1) a contract used to ensure particular information is kept confidential; or 2) a confidentiality clause used in a contract in order, again, to ensure that certain information is kept confidential. NDAs are therefore commonly equated to confidentiality clauses.

NDAs are, in an employment context, used in the following types of documents:

  • In a contract of employment or service agreement;
  • In an ACAS-conciliated ‘COT3’ settlement agreement;
  • In a statutory settlement agreement; or
  • In another form of contract (such as a consultancy agreement or agency agreement)

What are NDAs used for?

NDAs are generally used in order to maintain confidentiality regarding particular information – this could be, for example:

  • To ensure that ‘confidential information’ (which would be defined by the contract) is kept confidential – this is, essentially, in order to protect ‘business secrets’;
  • To ensure that the facts of a particular dispute between an employer and an employee is not disclosed to third parties;
  • To keep the terms of a settlement agreement (whether a COT3 agreement or a statutory settlement agreement) confidential

NDAs are generally entered in to when the employment relationship commences, when it changes (for example, if the employee is promoted), and/or when the employment ends.

When should NDAs not be used?

An NDA should not be used to prevent ‘whistleblowing’, with examples of this detailed below:

  • The reporting of a criminal offence;
  • Disclosing breaches of health and safety or environmental protection to appropriate third parties;
  • Disclosing a breach of a civil legal obligation where it is in the public interest to do so; or
  • Where an employer has tried to cover up a criminal offence, breach of health and safety or environment legislation, or the breach of a civil legal obligation


An employee complains of a breach of GDPR legislation to their employer, and their employer tries to persuade the employee to sign an NDA to prevent them from reporting the breach (for example, to the ICO).

Even if the employee signs the NDA the employer, by law, cannot prevent them from ‘whistleblowing’.

Employers should not use settlement agreements to try and ‘cover up’ discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment in the workplace (as defined by the Equality Act 2010).

Why might organisations want to use NDAs?

Organisations may wish to use NDAs in certain circumstances:

  • To keep its ‘business secrets’ confidential (such as, for example, client details, financial information etc.);
  • To protect its intellectual property;
  • To maintain confidentiality regarding things the employee knows about the workplace, clients or colleagues;
  • To stop an employee from making adverse or derogatory comments about the organisation, colleagues, clients or suppliers; or
  • To try and prevent the identity of an employee from being known if the details of a dispute are publicised


An employer becomes aware that an employee might make defamatory comments about it, or about other employees. The employer may request that the employee agrees to a confidentiality clause preventing the employee from making the derogatory comments

If you have concerns about the use by an employer of NDAs in the workplace then you may wish to get some legal advice.

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your first name (required)

Your last name (required)

Your email (required)

Your telephone number (required)

Brief details of your enquiry

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk


4.76 Average

204 Reviews


Excellent advice and customer service.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Aneet G

I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Fern M

Very efficient and friendly

Posted 4 weeks ago

Neville S

A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Daniel T

Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

Posted 1 month ago

Paul T

Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

Posted 1 month ago

Marina E

Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

Posted 1 month ago

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 1 month ago


Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 1 month ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 2 months ago

Mark W

Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 3 months ago


Posted 3 months ago


I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 3 months ago


Fantastic communication, always happy to answer queries, highly recommended.

Posted 3 months ago

Wavenie B

They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

Posted 3 months ago

Christina P

Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 3 months ago


Very well done and fast support. Professional and reliable. Highly recommended!

Posted 3 months ago

Helene L

They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 3 months ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 3 months ago

Marie D

very good service all digitalised

Posted 3 months ago