Press

Press Release – Release Channel 4 News women from their NDA’s

Press Release Monday 31st January: Release Channel 4 News women from their NDA’s

Pregnant Then Screwed and Can’t Buy My Silence are today launching a campaign to release all Channel 4 News employees from their NDA’s following allegations that they have been used to cover up gender pay discrimination, harassment and bullying.

A series of complaints from women have been made to Pregnant Then Screwed and Maria Miller MP. A letter was sent to ITN (who produce Channel 4 News) from Tory backbencher, Maria Miller, last week outlining the whistleblower claims.

In response to the complaints, Pregnant Then Screwed surveyed 542 women who had signed an NDA or confidentiality clause after experiencing pregnancy, maternity or sex discrimination to detail the impact this practise has on women’s careers and mental health.

The survey found that a shocking 89.5% of women who signed an NDA or confidentiality clause felt that they had no choice but to sign with respondents stating

“My options were to sign or leave my job with nothing”

“They said I had to sign the agreement as worded, with the NDA or they would refuse to give a reference. I’d been there 10 years, I had to have a reference, I didn’t have a choice.”

“I was told if I didn’t sign it they would find a way to manage me out.”

 

71.8% of respondents feel that signing an NDA or confidentiality clause has had a negative impact on their mental health, the women told Pregnant Then Screwed

“I couldn’t tell any of the great friends I had made over the last two years why I was suddenly leaving”

“How can anyone heal from such injustice when they’re constantly reminded of the power the wrongdoer has over you?”

“My employer had done this to other pregnant women and I felt I had let them get away with it again.”

 

85.8% of the women believe their employer had used an NDA at least once before them, and 78.4% of the respondents believe that the employer had used them on multiple occasions to hide wrongdoing.  

 

90.1% of respondents stated that they would have been happy for people to know what happened to them at that organisation and do not believe that the protection the NDA or confidentiality clause offered them from exposure was useful.

 

A near unanimous 99.6% of the women surveyed think the Government should take further action to prevent employers from using NDAs/confidentiality clauses to hide wrongdoing.

Joeli Brearley, CEO and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said

“NDAs are legal weapons used by the powerful to silence women. We do not know how commonly they are used because by their very nature, they are not disclosed to anyone, but we do know that many companies who have a brand which hinges on their dedication to equality also use NDAs to hide abhorrent behaviour. Many of the women we speak to who have signed an NDA are still experiencing the mental health impact months, and even years, later. We are calling on Channel 4 news to release employees from their NDAs. These women deserve the dignity of being able to tell their story. They deserve the dignity of being heard.’’ 

 

Zelda Perkins, founder of Can’t Buy My Silence said

“As the Channel that commissioned the first documentary into Weinstein’s appalling behaviour and my own experience signing and breaking an NDA used to protect him – I was surprised and appalled to learn of Channel 4 news and ITN’s continued use of NDA’s to silence employees about bullying, sexual harassment, gender pay disparities and maternity discrimination.

If the BBC refuses to use NDA’s for anything other than intellectual property what is Channel 4 waiting for?

Channel 4 News now has the opportunity to stand up and earn its description as a inclusive and progressive workplace 

Please sign our petition to ask Ch4 News and ITN to release all employees from NDA’s that have been used to cover up malpractice and abuse. This is the chance to be on the side of right, to protect your employees and have a safe and transparent workplace. Why would any company refuse?”

Together Pregnant Then Screwed and Can’t Buy My Silence are calling on ITN to release Channel 4 News women from their NDA’s and asking people to sign our petition in support [LINK]

-ENDS-

For further press information or case studies from Pregnant Then Screwed please contact:
e: [email protected] t: 07784 609797

Notes to Editor:

About Pregnant Then Screwed (www.pregnantthenscrewed.com). Pregnant Then Screwed is a charity that seeks to protect, support and promote the rights of pregnant women and mothers. We carry out extensive research into the effects of systemic cultural and institutional discrimination during pregnancy and motherhood, as it relates specifically to employment. Our support services include a free employment rights helpline, a free legal advice service, and an employment tribunal mentoring service, as well as in-person and online events.

About the research:

The research was conducted in December 2021 and January 2022, and was completed by 542 women who signed a confidentiality clause or NDA after experiencing pregnancy, maternity or sex discrimination. 

The data was collected via Typeform and was self selecting. 

 

The key findings: 

48% of respondents were on a salary of £25k – £49.9k at the time of signing

24% were on a salary of £50k – £74.9k

11.6% were on a salary of £75k – £99.9k

10% were on a salary of £10k – £24.9k

 

Reasons that prevented 55.6% of respondents from using the tribunal system included:

My mental health 69.2%

I was too exhausted due to personal issues (eg pregnancy) 64.2%

I just wanted to move on with my life 59.3%

Cost 52.6%

The complexity of the system 34% 

85.2% received independent legal advice before signing their settlement agreement/NDA or confidentiality clause


89.5% felt that they had no choice but to commit to an NDA/confidentiality clause

79.3% do not feel that their employer would have settled out of court without an NDA or confidentiality clause

71.8% feel that signing an NDA or confidentiality clause has had a negative impact on their mental health 

78.4% of respondents feel like the employer who asked them to sign the NDA or confidentiality clause has used them on multiple occasions to hide wrongdoing

7.4% of respondents believe their employer has used them at least one other time


90.1% of respondents who signed an NDA or confidentiality clause would have been happy for people to know what happened to them at that organisation and do not believe that the protection the NDA or confidentiality clause offered them from exposure was useful.

18.7% of respondents received less than £5k for their silence

41.6% of respondents received less than £20k for their silence 

Only 10.2% received more than £50k 

84.1% do not believe they received enough money considering their experience 

90.2% left their jobs as a result of the discrimination hey experienced 

99.6% think the Government should take further action to prevent employers from using NDAs/confidentiality clauses to hide wrongdoing

 

Press

Never Miss Out {{ responseTitle }}

Sign up to the Pregnant Then Screwed mailing list so you can stay in the loop on our latest campaigns and achievements as well as tips on how you can help end The Motherhood Penalty {{ responseMessage }}
Whoops. The form is invalid.
  • {{ value }}.