Feeds

Mandy promises end to illegal staff blacklists

You can't get me if I'm part of the union

Boost IT visibility and business value

Lord Mandelson has opened a consultation on banning the use of union blacklists by employers.

The listening period starts today and runs till 18 August - shorter than usual because Mandy wants to introduce legislation in the autumn. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills also said the shorter period was justified because a fuller consultation was carried out in 2003.

The regulations would prohibit compiling, disseminating or using blacklists of staff with union affiliations. They would make it unlawful to refuse employment or dismiss staff as a result of such a list. It would also be illegal for a recruitment firm to refuse to put you on the books as a result of such a list. Individuals and unions will be able to sue for compensation if such a list is used or distributed.

The ICO found evidence of union blacklists going back 30 years when it investigated Ian Kerr's The Consulting Association. TCA had itself been trading for 15 years.

It charged building firms and recruiters £3,000 a year plus £2.20 for every record checked. The company, which has now ceased trading, held records on thousands of building workers.

Some records referred to poor work practices, failure to follow health and safety rules and even violence against colleagues, but the vast majority referred to union activity. The ICO said 75 per cent of the records held were about union activity or support.

Worried builders can contact the ICO to see if they're named in the records.

The government accepted that its proposals could be avoided by simply running a website from abroad, but said British users of such a service could still be punished. Reporters are exempted from the regulations, as long as they don't name anyone. A report in The Guardian sparked the original ICO investigation.

The ICO investigation of Droitwich-based The Consulting Association was its first use of an Enforcement Notice to shut the firm down. TCA held a list of 3,213 building workers and was used by 40 major clients. The ICO said Kerr is due to be sentenced next week.

BIS's summary and links to the consultation are here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.