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:

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


    4.78 Average

    262 Reviews


    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 7 hours ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 1 day ago


    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 2 days ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 3 days ago


    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 4 days ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 5 days ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 5 days ago


    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 5 days ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 6 days ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 6 days ago


    I found dealing with Redmans a pleasure. I got to speak to someone quickly, the advice was profferred promplty and the service was not 'pushy'. In addition, the administration was excellent. What more could you ask for?

    Posted 6 days ago


    Redmans did a brilliant job regarding my redundancy agreement. I miss read an extra charge which wasnt the case so doing a new review to clarify. I would recommend Redmans for any employment law issues you may have.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Christos G

    Great legal advice and quick correspondence. Very supportive and helpful through the entire process. Thank you Redmans!

    Posted 1 week ago


    Chris Hadrill advised me on a redundancy settlement agreement. He was very responsive, easy to deal with and gave me good advice at a stressful time.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Zara M

    Rana at Redmans gave me support and confidence I needed to ensure a wrong, was put right. I couldn’t recommend enough.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Stuart T

    Chris provided an excellent service, he was efficient and friendly and I had no doubt when recommending him to my colleagues

    Posted 1 week ago


    Excellent service, prompt responses. Chris Hadrill provided excellent and efficient service.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Jane M

    Wonderful solicitors who really listen to you and who are there to offer expert legal advice but they also have a personal touch and you really feel supported both from a legal aspect but also from a personal aspect. They really listen .

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    They dealt with my case professional and swiftly. The advise was helpful and enabled me to make the right decisions in my case.

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    I have received a great legal advice from Redmans on a very short notice. I’d highly recommend them.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Michael D

    Excellent, efficient advice - the whole matter was concluded with minimum fuss and an excellent outcome.

    Posted 2 weeks ago