In a statement, he said he had reviewed his policies in light of national recommendations on responding to sexual harassment in universities, adding: “We have implemented them and we have a team of staff trained to help students who are victims of sexual assault.” “If universities use a confidentiality agreement, it should be beneficial for both parties and not be enforced, so that the university takes responsibility for any problems encountered. Robust measures to solve problems are always welcome, but it is better for institutions to invest in creating a healthy work culture,” the union said. The debate about the increasing use of confidentiality agreements focuses on the fear that they may not prevent outgoing employees from talking about allegations of harassment or harassment. British universities are accused of using “gag orders” to prevent accusations of harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct from being made public. UK universities are increasingly dependent on confidentiality agreements to negotiate with staff and have spent nearly 11,000 over the past five years, according to data collected by Times Higher Education. Members of the Commons Science and Technology Committee have previously raised concerns that some universities are using confidentiality agreements to prevent allegations of misconduct in research from being made. Universities UK, which represents 136 institutions, said it was important to keep in mind that signing an NDA “does not prevent employees or students from reporting criminal acts to the police or supervisory authorities or making a disclosure in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998”. “Like most organizations, universities use NDAs for many different reasons. Universities should not use NDSAs to prevent open discussions about harassment, or even deter students from filing other legitimate complaints. “The numbers came when the House of Commons Committee on Women and Equal Rights opened an investigation into the use of confidentiality agreements, amid allegations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed women and then silenced them through confidentiality agreements. Secrecy is the most effective way to protect confidential information, sensitive topics, and new ideas.. . .

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