Will you help us encourage Christian organizations and local churches to be free from NDAs?
We are calling on faith communities to sign the #NDAfree pledge and share publicly that you have chosen freedom from contracts of silence. We want people who interact with your church or organization to know that they will never be required to silence themselves to conceal wrongdoing.
NDAs have a legitimate purpose in protecting intellectual property, and occasionally personal data. However, the need for them in churches and Christian organisations is extremely rare. If your church has a genuine need to protect intellectual property or personal data, this is exempt from the #NDAfree pledge.
Increasingly, NDAs are being used in employment disputes as a mechanism to enforce confidentiality. Privacy and confidentiality are vital to healthy relationships and communities but enforcing silence through contracts, often in exchange for money, is too often misused to conceal wrongdoing – sometimes serious and even criminal.
#NDAfree believes that appropriate privacy and confidentiality mechanisms are already available in many jurisdictions, including defamation legislation and data protection regulation. NDAs are the wrong tool to enforce silence. Too often, NDAs are used as a shortcut to avoid proper investigation of an issue, or to circumvent due process.
#NDAfree recognises that on occasion, false allegations may be made which could do reputational damage. It is our view people should be prioritised over institutions. We would ask you to consider whether restricting a person’s freedom of speech is an appropriate price to pay to protect the reputation of your organization.
For all these reasons, the #NDAfree pledge is as follows:
We pledge to never request another party to submit to an NDA and we will not use confidentiality agreements in settlements.*
We pledge to always follow policies and due processes such as grievances, whistleblowing, capability and misconduct and to always investigate wrongdoing, even where a settlement agreement is reached.
We pledge not to use non-disparagement clauses with employees or volunteers.
For clarity, we will never use an NDA or any other confidentiality restrictions
- with a person making an allegation of misconduct or abuse
- to silence a whistleblower
- to ‘close’ a conflictual situation
- to protect the powerful
- as a condition of employment or voluntary service*
Furthermore, we pledge to display our policy for all to see and pledge to lift existing confidentiality clauses from anyone who has signed one with us as part of a settlement agreement, should they wish us to.
*If there is a genuine need to protect intellectual property or personal data, this is exempt from the #NDAfree pledge.