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Issued on 02 March 2010
It is now unlawful for trade union members to be denied employment through
blacklists, under new regulations that come into effect today.
To prevent employers from blacklisting workers for their trade union
membership or activities the Government has introduced new rules banning the
practice. The move follows public consultation on the subject and evidence that
a number of employers in the construction sector had been unlawfully vetting
Employment Relations Minister Lord Young said:
"Blacklisting someone because they are a member of a trade union is
underhand, unfair and blights people’s lives.
"The new regulations outlaw the compilation, dissemination and use of
blacklists. They have been designed to build on existing protections in the
area, which are found in trade union and data protection law, Good employers who
operate fair and open vetting processes have nothing to fear from these
"I am confident that this new piece of legislation will bring to an end the
disreputable practice of blacklisting once and for all”.
* make it unlawful for organisations to refuse employment or sack individuals
as a result of appearing on a blacklist; * make it unlawful for employment
agencies to refuse to provide a service on the basis of an individual appearing
on a blacklist; and * enable individuals or unions to pursue compensation or
solicit action against those who compile, distribute or use blacklists.
1. Under section 3 of the Employment Relations Act 1999, the Government has
the power to introduce regulations prohibiting the blacklisting of workers for
their union membership or activities.
2. In March the Information Commissioner reported that 40 construction
companies had subscribed to a database used to vet construction workers, which
has now been closed under data protection law. On 16 July, Mr Ian Kerr, the
individual who operated the database, was fined £5,000 at Knutsford Crown Court
for committing a criminal offence under data protection law.
3. In response to this new evidence on 11 May 2009, the Government announced
that it would seek to bring forward legislation to outlaw blacklisting – the
statement to Parliament can be found here – http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/
4. A public consultation on revised draft regulations took place between 7
July and 18 August 2009. The Government response to the public consultation can
be viewed here: http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/f ile53734.pdf
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-03-03 23:55:10 in Legal Articles