Seminar: Confidentiality, Settlement Agreements and Behavioural Standards at Work - The Research Challenge

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Event Details

3 May 2018 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
BLT Meeting Room, S3.17, Level 3, Building S, Caulfield Campus
Business Law and Taxation


The Department of Business Law and Taxation and the Labour Equality and Human Rights (LEAH) Research Group invite you to a seminar on ‘Confidentiality, Settlement Agreements and Behavioural Standards at Work: The Research Challenge’ presented by Professor Lizzie Barmes (Queen Mary University of London). The discussant will be Dr Dominque Allen.

The presentation and discussion will be followed by lunch.

Registration is required – please email Lauren King (, and if relevant also mention any dietary requirements.


Confidentiality, Settlement Agreements and Behavioural Standards at Work: the Research Challenge

This talk will explore how existing research and contemporary developments are converging to focus public, governmental and research attention on the role of confidentiality at work, both generally and in the context of settlement practice. This has sprung from brave disclosures by individuals, associated journalism and broader media dissemination. These have highlighted the role of such silencing practices in enabling and sustaining bad workplace behaviour. I draw on existing work to suggest the centrality of individualizing processes to current law and practice in this area, the urgency of empirical enquiry into what is happening and the challenges of designing this. The focus will be on UK experience, although developments there have undoubted resonance elsewhere.


Lizzie Barmes is Professor of Labour Law at Queen Mary University of London and co-Director of the QMUL School of Law’s Centre for Research on Law, Equality and Diversity (‘LEAD). She taught at UCL from 1999-2007, was a Government Lawyer in the Common Law Team of the Law Commission of England and Wales from 1995-1999 and practised as a solicitor from 1988-1994. Professor Barmes’ research interests are in the fields of equality and employment law. Her 2016 monograph, Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at Work: The Duality of Individual Rights, won the 2017 SLSA’s Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize. Other main research interests include positive and affirmative action, discriminatory harassment, the contract of employment and judicial diversity.