SENIOR councillors are set to be informed about the authority’s use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) - or workplace gagging clauses.

The Press revealed last month that City of York Council had spent close to £1m issuing 68 of the controversial agreements in the past five years.

Businesses use the legal contracts to protect commercially-sensitive information.

On Monday senior councillors are due to get an update on how the authority issues the clauses and new measures will be introduced - meaning the contracts will be reported to the committee to provide “assurance and oversight”.

A report prepared for the staffing Matters and urgency committee meeting says NDAs are used to end an employment contract on agreed terms.

It adds: “Settlement agreements are voluntary.

“Whilst not a legal requirement, [the council] should allow employees to be accompanied at the meeting by a work colleague, trade union official or trade union representative.

“The use of a non disclosure clause within the settlement agreement may be used for the benefit of either CYC or the employee, but in general is included for the benefit of both parties.

“The clause is confidential and provides certainty and closer whilst affirming the right of either party to make a protected disclosure (i.e. whistleblowing).”