'Gagging’ clauses preventing workers from challenging unfair payAlmost a fifth of employees are not allowed to discuss their pay with colleagues due to “gagging clauses”.

This is according to the Trade Union Congress (TUC), who found that 18 per cent of workers are told by their employer not to discuss salary with co-workers.

The TUC is calling for a ban on pay secrecy or “gagging” clauses, which prevent workers from challenging unfair pay, discrimination and excessive top-to-bottom pay ratios.

Research also found that 50 per cent of employees do not know what senior managers in their organisations are paid.

Over half (53 per cent) of workers are not given information regarding other people’s pay in their company.

Also just as 18 per cent are not allowed to talk about this issue, another 18 per cent say that their workplace has a transparent pay policy, where salary details are available to everyone.

The TUC wish for the Government to:

  • Ban pay secrecy clauses
  • Deliver stronger union rights
  • Commit to introducing the cutting-edge pay transparency measures being considered at the European level.


Frances O Grady, general secretary of the TUC said:

Pay secrecy clauses are a get out of jail free card for bad bosses.

They stop workers from challenging unfair pay, allow top executives to hoard profits and encourage discrimination against women and disabled people.

Talking about pay can feel a bit uncomfortable, but more openness about wages is essential to building fairer workplaces.

The TUC and GQR research, is an opinion research and strategic consulting firm conducted an online poll of 2,700 UK workers to obtain these results.

On the 13/1/20 the TUC held an event called ‘Zero in on Zero Hours’ which discussed the injustices of zero-hour contracts and how unions and employers can campaign together to put an end to this type of work.

At the event, Julian Richer, founder of Richer Sounds said:

The UK is one of only seven countries that allows zero-hour contracts.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.