Trade Union Membership: Blacklisting To Be Outlawed

Trade Union Membership: Blacklisting To Be Outlawed

It will be unlawful for trade union members to be denied employment through
blacklists under plans outlined by Employment Relations Minister Anthony Young

The move follows publication of the Government’s to a public
consultation on employers blacklisting workers for their trade union membership
or activities held over the summer, and follows evidence that a number of
employers in the construction sector had been unlawfully vetting workers.

Anthony Young said: “Blacklisting someone because they are a member of a
trade union is totally unacceptable.  There is already legal protection against
the misuse of people’s personal details.  We will now strengthen the law by
introducing new regulations to outlaw the compilation, dissemination and use of
blacklists.  The Government is determined to stamp out this despicable practice
and our legislative proposals are a proportionate and robust response.”

The regulations will:

  • 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 appearing on a blacklist; &

  • enable individuals or unions to pursue compensation or solicit action
    against those who compile, distribute or use blacklists. 

The Government plans to table the regulations for Parliament to consider as
soon as possible.  They will need to be debated and approved by each House
before they can be implemented.  Provided Parliament gives its approval, the
regulations could be brought into effect early next year.

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