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It’s confidential

How many of us who employ domestic staff work from home?  How many of those who employ domestic staff bring work home, to read or work on?

Taking the two issues together, the answer is probably the majority of us.  And that brings us to the issue of confidentiality.

It’s not unusual for companies to use confidentiality agreements, or non-disclosure agreements as they are often known, to prevent information that is being disclosed to someone, or an organisation, from being passed on.

It prevents leaks, sometimes to another organisation, or even to a journalist.

So what, you may say, this doesn’t concern me. Well, in some ways, it does.

You probably will never want a formalised confidentiality agreement, but neither do you want details of your work, which maybe overheard, or details of your family, its plans, for example, being passed on, even as non-malicious gossip between someone who works for you and one of their friends.

How harmful can this be?  It depends upon the nature of the information, and the nature of the “friend” to whom the information is being passed, even if it is only mentioned in passing.

What can be that important you may ask?

It’s often the little details that are crucial, such as when you are going away on holiday, or when the house is empty during the day, or that fact that the burglar alarm box on your home isn’t actually connected to anything, or how alarming it can be when you fail to deactivate the alarm when you come home and what that entails.

You don’t know the nature, backgrounds or records of your employees’ friends.  In most cases, they are probably upstanding people like them, but sometimes they are not and may supplement their income through a little burglary, for instance.

So while a commercial confidentiality agreement may be over the top, perhaps a simple non-disclosure agreement to be signed at the time of employment would be a prudent move.

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that, because of your hard work, you are better off than many people, and that others less well off may well see you as a potential target.  Worth a thought?

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