Blacklisting Employees

‘Blacklisted employees’ refers to individuals who are not recognized by the organisations or trade unions within a large organisation. In 2009, the Information Commissioner’s Office conducted an investigation and found that, in the construction industry, approximately 44 employers were paying a third party organisation for the blacklist of more than 3000 individuals. Many of these employers are now facing legal actions.

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS ACT (BLACKLISTING) REGULATION 1999-2010
This act marks the use of blacklisting as unlawful. According to regulations:

  • It is considered unlawful to supply, sell or purchase a blacklist of individuals in a certain or specific industry.
  • It is illegal for an employee to fire, dismiss or refuse employment to an employee on the grounds of blacklisting.
  • It is illegal for agencies and other job recruiting firms to refuse their services to those individuals who are considered to be blacklisted.
  • FEATURES OF A BLACKLIST
    A blacklist of employees can be in any form, either on paper, electronic format or any kind of recoded format.

  • The most important feature of a blacklist is the collection of the full details of all current and previous union members and their overall activities within the union.
  • The second most important feature is that blacklists meet the needs of employers and other recruiting firms by enabling the identification of blacklisted individuals either during the recruiting process or during the employment process.
  • All important details like full name, insurance number, home address, previous employment history etc, are needed to build an efficient blacklist of employees.
  • The blacklisting of employees tends to only be lawful if the list was built for keeping track of employees and union members who act or work differently within the unions, who try to break the law themselves or who create some sort of problem.

    But if the blacklist is made for any other purposes then it is considered to be illegal. It is quite difficult, however, to judge whether there has been a breach of regulations or not. But employees can defend themselves if they are the subject of a blacklist. If an employee’s name is on a blacklist and he is refused a job that is relevant to his qualifications, then it can be considered that he was refused due to his position on the blacklist. But if that individual defends himself and succeeds in proving that the blacklist reasons are not good enough then he can receive some compensation. This depends upon the amount and type of loss suffered by the blacklisted employee.

    If the regulations of blacklisting are illegally handled, then the employers or the organisations that provide these blacklists are said to be breaching the law and therefore legal action can be taken against them. Blacklisting is not an illegal or unlawful process, but its use can be.

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