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Government Outlines Plans To Outlaw Blacklisting


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Issued 07 July 2009

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:

“Blacklisting someone because they are a member of a trade union is totally unacceptable.

“I am determined to act quickly to stamp out this despicable practice. Today's proposals outline how we will deliver this”.

The main proposals are:

  • to make it unlawful for organisations to refuse employment or sack individuals as a result of appearing on a blacklist;
  • to make it unlawful for employment agencies to refuse to provide a service on the basis of appearing on a blacklist; and
  • to enable individuals or unions to pursue compensation or solicit action against those who compile, distribute or use blacklists.

This consultation will run for a shorter than usual period of six weeks to enable legislation to be brought forward as soon as possible. Ministers plan to seek Parliamentary approval for the regulations in the autumn and implement them urgently as soon as it can thereafter.

Under the Employment Relations Act 1999, the government has the power to introduce regulations prohibiting the blacklisting of workers for their union membership or activities.In 2003, the government consulted on draft regulations, but at that time no hard evidence was found that blacklisting was taking place. In response to the consultation, the government committed to reviewing the issue if hard evidence came forward.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 27 May, Mr Ian Kerr, the individual who operated the database, pleaded guilty at Macclesfield Magistrates Court of committing a criminal offence under data protection law. He will be sentenced in due course.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 – 1m0001.htm#column_33WSThe consultation published today can be viewed at

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© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-07-07 12:23:46 in Business Articles

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