Suzanne McKie QC provides evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry on sexual harassment in the workplace

Suzanne McKie QC provided evidence to the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace. Zelda Perkins, former assistant to Harvey Weinstein, was among the other witnesses present.

NDAs - Non Disclosure Agreements - have been used to prevent employees from reporting sexual harassment to the police and enabled individuals and organisations to avoid the consequences of repeated offences. The groundswell of public indignation over this abuse of power and position (that is reflected in #MeToo and has caused the spectacular collapse of the career of film producer Harvey Weinstein and others) has focussed the attention of our lawmakers on how well the rights of individual employees are protected in practice

Parliamentary Select Committees are the forum where MPs gather evidence and consult expert opinion to understand better how the law works at present and to consider whether changes need to be made.

As you will see from the clip below, Suzanne McKie QC is very clear on where she stands on this matter.

 
 

NDAs and confidentiality agreements: Parliamentary inquiry launched

MPs have launched an inquiry into workplace harassment, with particular regard to the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the context of sexual harassment.

Although this may be welcome, we have to be very clear about what benefits there are to claimants in the use of confidentiality agreements as part of a settlement following harassment and/or termination of employment following their being harassed. We should be slow to outlaw these, as claimants/victims should be given a choice as to what is right for them in order to move on and draw a line under the trauma. No victim should be forcibly prevented (directly or indirectly) from entering into a settlement agreement with the alleged perpetrator (or those liable for the perpetrator's actions). No victim should be criticised for refusing or not feeling able to litigate on the matter or report the matter to the police - to criticise them in this way places blame or responsibility (yet again) on the victim.

See here for the relevant BBC article.