As we work for a company, we get to know some things that should be kept in private. This information is exclusive to the employees only and should not be divulged to others in any manner. This is an important etiquette that should be practiced by both the employer and the employee. Confidentiality in the workplace policy protects everyone from possible lawsuits and court feuds should something bad happens. You may also see Agreement Templates.
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Along with this, a confidentiality agreement samples is written down to ensure that both parties will not tell any confidential information. Confidentiality agreements are built on trust more than any other contracts. You may also see personal confidentiality agreement templates. Costly lawsuits can happen if both the employer and employee do not protect the information properly. You may also see data confidentiality agreements.
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What To Include In Writing A Confidentiality Agreement
There is so much to be included in writing a confidentiality agreement. Several matters have to be talked about and put into formal writing. This kind of agreement is only written if some information are to be kept from the public. Here is a list of the key points that you need to include when writing the agreement:
1. Describe confidential and non-confidential information.
Confidential information that should be kept includes business strategies, beta reviews, prototypes, patents, and others. These should be protected at all costs. Include the non-confidential information before you go to the confidential ones. The legal requirement is an example of that. You should also identify the parties who will sign the contract and if the agreement is mutual or one-way. Mutual means both of you share the information. One-way means either of you does not get to share the information. One gives, the other receives.
2. Duties and obligations of both parties.
Write out the duties and obligations you and your employee will do if the agreement is already effective. This part limits the exchange of information between the employer and the employee. Each of their parts must be carried out to ensure a harmonious relationship between the two. If an employee signs the agreement, you should limit his use of information to work-related matters only. Information is also tightly secured so it will not get into the wrong hands.
3. How long it is good for.
State how long the agreement is good for. It can be for months or extend to a year, or a few more years. It depends on the turn of events. The agreement can be terminated when something happens that puts both the employer and employee at risk. The start of the confidentiality period can start after the agreement was signed. It should also state how long the agreement is enforceable for.
4. Penalties for breaching.
A breach of contract is inevitable. The other party might breach it for reasons they only know. State the penalties for breaching the agreement if ever it happens. It can be in a form of heavy financial penalties or sue the other party for the injunction. The injunction disables the one who breached the contract to use the information outside the limits of the contract. Damages may also be sued by the breaching party. You may also see real estate confidentiality agreement templates.
5. Give lots of spaces for signature.
The agreement should have enough space for the signature of both parties to be filled in. The signature is the most crucial part of the agreement. It is the sign of formality and compliance with all the terms written in the document. You may also see vendor confidentiality agreements.
More On Workplace Confidentiality
Today’s workplace environment is competitive as it transcends from analog to digital. Information is being stored in electronic means that can be shared when put into the wrong hands. That is why a confidentiality agreement is very important to protect this information from leaking. When the confidential information is shared wrongly, it can lead to loss of profits and clients. The simple business gets caught in a downturn and might end up filing for bankruptcy. Wrong handling of information can be used in committing a crime.
One of the information that should be protected is the employee’s personal records. These records are submitted to the company as part of the requirement and should not be used in any way other than for record keeping purposes. If it gets shared, it leads to employee’s mistrust in the company he is working for. Furthermore, he might be subjected to violence and identity theft. The government, bank, and cell phone numbers will surely be misused to commit illegal activity.
Office documents such as contracts should also be protected. Contracts have sensitive information and is meant to have by both the employer and employee only. It can be rendered obsolete once it is shared to the public. You may also see basic confidentiality agreements templates.
The architectural plan of the office and other internal documents is also part of the protection. The safety of the employees should be prioritized since life is only lived once. Internal documents also include handbooks on employee’s code of conduct in the workplace. Having it disclosed will reveal the company’s rules in doing work inside the office premises.
Trademarks, patents, and copyrights are also to be protected. This information define the branding of a company’s products. It serves as their identity and gives them recognition in the market they are in. Moreover, this sensitive information contain processes that can be used by the competing companies without regard to the copyright. You may also see sample confidentiality agreement templates.
Confidentiality agreements protect a myriad of information that holds the company together. Once everything is leaked altogether, the company shall suffer from its impact and would be forced to take on preventive measures even if it puts the people in jeopardy. It is important to have this agreement to prove that whatever you agreed on with your employer is valid. You have a proof to show if things don’t work out like you expected. You may also see confidentiality agreement templates.
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How To Protect Confidential Information
It is not enough write an agreement on which information should be protected. As an employer, you have to come up with means in protecting these information. This saves you from being in trouble in the future and spending too much money for lawsuits. You may also see employee confidentiality agreement templates.
Protecting confidential information is done through these following means:
1. Limit access to information.
The information that you share with your employee should have a certain limit. It avoids the information from being misused for his personal gain. The physical copies of this information are kept in a locker. If you store it digitally, put it in a safe hardware where you only have the access. It’s better to have backup copies of the files for reference and unexpected needs sooner or later. You may also see HR confidentiality agreement templates.
2. Label the information.
With so many information at the palm of your hands, you need to put a label on which ones are important and be kept confidential and the ones available for public sharing. This is for the purpose of legal protection of the information. It still needs to be legally protected no matter what happens. You may also see basic confidentiality agreements.
3. Conduct exit interview for resigning employees.
The purpose of the exit interview for departing employees is to return the tangible confidential information to the employer to avoid any misuse of it. It also reminds the employees of the possible implications if he shares what he knows about the company to third party elements. You may also see contractor confidentiality agreements.
4. Notify the next employer about the agreement.
Consider telling the next employer about the confidentiality agreement that you had with the employee as he goes on to take another job. The new employer might also hand out the same agreement for the information that he has. You may also see confidentiality agreement forms.
5. Make a confidentiality policy along with the handbook.
When an employee comes in for work, make a separate confidentiality policy and hand it together with the employee’s handbook. This makes him think that you have highly-classified information that needs to be protected.
Confidentiality agreements can also be used when you present a small business idea and innovation to a potential investor, and you only want the information to be used when evaluating the product. It is also used when receiving services from an outside source who may have an access to your confidential information. No matter what the setup might be, you should always be careful with who you trust. Money and profit are hard to get back if a breach happens.