Why would an employee want to sign a gagging order?
Wouldn’t you have a strong case if you’d been unfairly dismissed or sexually harassed? Why would you not want to go to court? Wouldn’t you get more money? Or does the settlement give you such a substantial amount more of money that it would be enough to purchase your silence?
Generally, you won’t get more money in a settlement than in court, but what you will get is certainty. You’ll get money in the bank and you can move on. Whereas in court there is always the ‘litigation risk’, the chance that you could lose. Most sexual harassment or racism isn’t done in emails or in writing, therefore, it’s very hard to prove. But, if you sign a settlement agreement and get the money in the bank you can just move on.
This brings me to the second advantage of these things, people don’t want to be in court and become a public figure, bringing these bosses to account. A lot of people just want to get another job and move on from the whole thing. Making them go through a 2 year court case is probably the last thing they want to happen to them.
Also, employment law legal aid was cut a long time ago, therefore, how do you fund that court case? How do you afford a lawyer? The whole thing in practice is a bit of a nightmare. It is a difficult reality.