Jane Mann provided witness evidence to the Committee on 23 January 2019

“I welcome the Report’s unflinching description of the realities and practicalities facing individuals seeking to enforce legal rights under the Equality Act and I support many of the recommendations for redressing the imbalance of power between an employee and an employer.”

“But even with proposed improvements, tribunal litigation will continue to be a difficult process. For this reason I particularly welcome the Report’s recommendation to strengthen corporate governance requirements to ensure that employers themselves assume responsibility for protecting staff from discrimination and harassment including appointing a named director or other senior manager to oversee internal anti-discrimination and harassment procedures and policies and the use of NDAs. In my evidence to the Committee I said that boards of companies should be required to ensure that their organisation took action to bring about culture change and to improve the internal management of claims and complaints.”

“As the Committee heard from many witnesses, regulating the use of NDAs to deal with abuse in certain circumstances is not straightforward. Despite the scope for abuse in specific circumstances (generally where wrongdoing has occurred) NDAs have a valuable role to play in many aspects of the employment relationship. I welcome the fact that this Report shines the spotlight on a difficult area that has been hidden from public view for many years.

“I was very pleased to contribute to the public debate on an important topic.”

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