Feeds

Mandy promises end to illegal staff blacklists

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
FAIL.GOV – Government asks Dropbox for accounts that don't exist
Storage locker's transparency report shows rise in government data gobble attempts
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.