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The Department does not routinely monitor the use of confidentiality clauses in compromise agreements. The Department's guidance, contained within the health circular HSC 2004/001, does not prevent the use of confidentiality clauses per se. However, it does state that national health service employers must consider with their legal advisers whether such a clause is necessary in the circumstances of each case and that if such a clause is included within a particular agreement that it complies with their various statutory obligations regarding the treatment of confidential information, including the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
Before an employee considers signing a compromise agreement, which may or may not contain a confidentiality clause, the employer is required to pay for the employee to have independent legal advice on the terms of the agreement.