Blacklisting in Employment: Final Report - Scottish Affairs Contents

1  The Committee's Inquiry

1. The Committee launched its inquiry into Blacklisting on 27 June 2012, and published its first interim report Blacklisting in Employment on 16 April 2013.[1] That report focused specifically on the work of The Consulting Association (TCA). It also considered the issue of compensation for those workers who had been blacklisted.[2] Since the publication of that first report, significant progress has been made in highlighting and addressing issues relating to blacklisting: the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched its own investigation,[3] many victims of blacklisting are bringing individual cases to the High Court,[4] and a new compensation scheme, the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS), for blacklisted workers has been launched by eight of the companies that used the services of TCA.[5]

2. On 14 March 2014, we published our second interim report, Blacklisting in Employment: addressing the crimes of the past; moving towards best practice.[6] The purpose of that report was to identify ways of moving forward, both by addressing the crimes of the past and by identifying rules and structures to prevent such widespread and systematic exclusion of workers from employment from ever happening again. It focused on two key areas. First, we considered the historical practice of blacklisting and assessed how those who had participated in this practice should make amends for what they had done, and how victims of blacklisting should be compensated. Second, we set out examples of best practice initiatives in both the public and private sectors to eradicate blacklisting in the construction industry once and for all. In conclusion, we briefly raised the question of whether legislative reform or new legislation is required to eradicate blacklisting.

3. We published our third report in this inquiry Blacklisting in Employment-update, on 19 May 2014.[7] This report included the publication of the UK Government's response to our second interim report, in the form of a letter from Jenny Willott MP, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, received on 30 April 2014. Responses from the Scottish Government and Welsh Governments were also published with that report.[8]

4. In this final report on the inquiry we provide a brief update on key developments - in particular the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) which was launched on 4 July 2014. We took oral evidence from Trade Union representatives on 14 July, and representatives of the TCWCS on 16 July.[9] Here, we outline the detail of the scheme, the response to it, and its progress to date in making payments to victims.

5. Finally, we reiterate the conclusions of our earlier reports, and while we identify that some progress has been made-in large part due to continued pressure and scrutiny by this Committee-we are gravely concerned that, in some areas at least, the practice of blacklisting appears to be ongoing-and many questions remain unanswered. We conclude by recommending that a full Public Inquiry is required in order to finally and fully address these unanswered questions, and to make sure that the practice of blacklisting in the construction industry is eradicated once and for all.

1   Ninth Report of Session 2012-2014, HC 1071  Back

2  . Para 24 Back

3 Back

4 The full case is expected to take place later in 2015. Back

5   The scheme was formally launched on 4 July 2014. Back

6   Sixth Report of Session 2013-14, HC 543 Back

7   Thirteenth Report of Session 2013-14, HC 1291 Back

8   We received a letter from Nicola Sturgeon MSP, then Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, on 17 March 2014, and from Jane Hutt AM, Minister of Finance, Welsh Government, on 7 May 2014.  Back

9   We have also conducted a number of informal meetings with trade union and TCWCS representatives throughout the course of this inquiry.  Back

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2015
Prepared 27 March 2015