Legislation related to confidentiality clauses in Ireland
Confidentiality in Ireland is based on the common law which is based on court rulings. There is no specific legal framework to establish how confidentiality clauses should look like or how they should be enforced. The only legislation attesting to confidentiality are the Data Protection Act enabled in 1988 and renewed in 2003 and the Freedom of Information Act of 2014. These laws, however, refer to the protection of data on individuals. With respect to confidentiality in corporate matters in Ireland, such as trade secrets, the most common practice is to conclude confidentiality agreements or to introduce non-disclosure clauses.
If you need help in drafting confidentiality agreements you can request the services of our specialists in company formation in Ireland.
Confidentiality agreements in Ireland
One of the most common practices Irish companies employ nowadays is to conclude confidentiality agreements with the members of the company. This practice applies mainly at management level in an Irish company because of the importance and sensitivity related to the information that once disclosed could cause serious damage. When drafting confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements the following matters need to be addressed:
- – what the purpose of the agreement is,
- – the person or persons the agreement is intended for,
- – what information is covered by the agreement.
Irish confidentiality agreements are usually concluded for a limited period of time which varies from 36 to 48 months, which is why one should also include a clause specifying what will happen once the agreement expires in order to avoid business litigation.
Non-disclosure clauses in employment contracts in Ireland
Besides the confidentiality agreements signed at management level, Irish companies also include non-disclosure clauses in their workers’ employment contracts. Non-disclosure clauses have the role to protect the company against any information leak once the employee leaves the company. Non-disclosure clauses, like confidentiality agreements can be used in litigation cases before Irish courts of justice.
For more information about confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure clauses you can contact our Irish consultants in company registration.