Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
In 2009 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) raided the premises of the Consulting Association. They discovered a blacklist with over 3,200 construction workers names on which had been accessed by over 40 firms. Earlier this year, an electrician was reinstated at the Crossrail project after bringing a claim in the employment tribunal for, amongst other complaints, blacklisting.
Unfortunately blacklisting is a real and current problem which results in hard working, responsible employees who voice their concerns (about, for instance, a faulty fire door) being dismissed and prevented from working within their industry again.
The current legislation to prevent blacklisting is the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010. These Regulations make it unlawful to compile, use, sell or supply a ‘prohibited list’ – a blacklist. Such lists often contain details of people who are or have been members of trade unions or people who are taking part or have taken part in trade union activities.
If you think that you have been dismissed from a job, suffered a detriment at work or have been refused a job, and you believe this may be because of your current or past involvement with a trade union or, for example, whistle-blowing complaints you have made, it may be that your name is on an illegal blacklist.
If you wish to check whether you are on the Blacklist held by the Consulting Association you can call the ICO’s helpline on 0303 123 1113 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. If your details are not on this list, unfortunately it is very difficult to discover if you are on a blacklist; however, here are a few things to bear in mind and some ideas that might assist you if you believe your name might be on a blacklist:
•Your job interview goes well and you receive an immediate positive response from a potential employer. They take up your references and suddenly their attitude towards you becomes cold and formal.
•If this happens we recommend that you communicate with the potential employer and ask them for reasons for their change of heart. It may be that there was genuine, lawful reason (e.g. something in one of your references, such as a large amount of days of absence with an ex-employer).
•If the potential employer will not inform you of their reasons for the change in their attitude it may be that one of your referees is providing you with a negative reference. You could try changing the referees on your CV, one at a time, to a different person in the company that you used to work for. If you are receiving a negative reference from a particular referee, it will become obvious if you successfully obtain employment.
•If the above suggestions fail it may be that you are on a blacklist. Unfortunately as an individual it is very difficult to discover the existence of a blacklist. If you do however learn that you are on a blacklist there are a couple of legal options open to you.
You might be able to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. You should be aware that the time limit for bringing such proceedings is usually three months (less one day) from the date of the act you are bringing a claim for. The Employment Tribunal has the power to extend this limit in exceptional circumstances.
You might be able to bring a claim in the County Court or the Court of Session. In these courts you have six years to commence proceedings from from the date of the act you are bringing a claim for.
Our advice to you is – if you are a trade union member and believe that you are on a blacklist – then contact your union immediately for advice.
This guest blog from Morrish Solicitors is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice.
We work ourselves into the ground for little economic benefit. It's high time to for a change, writes Aidan Harper.
Deregulation and tax loopholes are justified by saying that they 'protect growth'. But really, they just protect the wealthy, writes James Fox
Inequality is often treated as a law of nature - but really, it's the result of conscious political choices. It's time to choose equality, writes the IPPR's Carys Roberts.
Tom Palmer, aka Agent Kingfisher, was the 'messiah' of London's squatting scene until his death last year. But who was responsible for his fate? MI5, late capitalism or simply a drug overdose? Matt Broomfield investigates.
'Docs Not Cops' write that we must resist attempts to make our NHS any less universal
Louis Mendee explains the real human costs of climate change for the global south.
From climate change to automation to demographic shifts, Mathew Lawrence explains the challenges our economy will face in the coming decade.
Fifty years after the Abortion Act, women are still dying from being denied basic services, write activists from Feminist Fightback
We need to tackle the patronising ideology that lets Tory think-tanks sneer at social tenants, writes Emma Dent Coad
Acid Corbynism allows people to imagine a future beyond the paltry offerings of capitalism, writes Keir Milburn
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism
Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte argue that Catalonia's independence movement is driven by solidarity – and resistance to far-right Spanish nationalists
Tabloids do not represent the working class
The tabloid press claims to be an authentic voice of the working class - but it's run by and for the elites, writes Matt Thompson
As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
London City Airport has faced resistance for its entire lifetime, writes Ali Tamlit – and some day soon we will win
The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
An excerpt from 'October', China Mieville's book revisiting the story of the Russian Revolution
Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.
‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition
#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny
Meet the digital feminists
We're building new online tools to create a new feminist community and tackle sexism wherever we find it, writes Franziska Grobke
The Marikana women’s fight for justice, five years on
Marienna Pope-Weidemann meets Sikhala Sonke, a grassroots social justice group led by the women of Marikana
Forget ‘Columbus Day’ – this is the Day of Indigenous Resistance
By Leyli Horna, Marcela Terán and Sebastián Ordonez for Wretched of the Earth
Uber and the corporate capture of e-petitions
Steve Andrews looks at a profit-making petition platform's questionable relationship with the cab company
You might be a centrist if…
What does 'centrist' mean? Tom Walker identifies the key markers to help you spot centrism in the wild
Black Journalism Fund Open Editorial Meeting in Leeds
Friday 13th October, 5pm to 7pm, meeting inside the Laidlaw Library, Leeds University
This leadership contest can transform Scottish Labour
Martyn Cook argues that with a new left-wing leader the Scottish Labour Party can make a comeback
Review: No Is Not Enough
Samir Dathi reviews No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics, by Naomi Klein
Building Corbyn’s Labour from the ground up: How ‘the left’ won in Hackney South
Heather Mendick has gone from phone-banker at Corbyn for Leader to Hackney Momentum organiser to secretary of her local party. Here, she shares her top tips on transforming Labour from the bottom up
Five things to know about the independence movement in Catalonia
James O'Nions looks at the underlying dynamics of the Catalan independence movement
‘This building will be a library!’ From referendum to general strike in Catalonia
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte report from the Catalan general strike, as the movements prepare to build a new republic
Chlorine chickens are just the start: Liam Fox’s Brexit trade free-for-all
A hard-right free marketer is now in charge of our trade policy. We urgently need to develop an alternative vision, writes Nick Dearden
There is no ‘cult of Corbyn’ – this is a movement preparing for power
The pundits still don’t understand that Labour’s new energy is about ‘we’ not ‘me’, writes Hilary Wainwright