Blacklisting in Employment: Final Report - Scottish Affairs Contents

Appendix 2: Media Announcement - The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme Launches, 4 July 2014

The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) announced today that, following eight months of discussions with unions and workers' representatives, the scheme has now been finalised and is open to applications immediately. The scheme will remain open for two years.

·  Providing financial compensation to those whose names were held on The Consulting Association (TCA) records, those whose names were on the Economic League records that were also held by TCA, or the estates of those whose names were held but who have since died

·  Compensation levels significantly higher than those through the High Court

·  A much faster route to compensation than a lengthy court process

·  Applicants don't need to prove actual loss to access compensation, nor do they need to prove they have been the victims of unlawful activity

·  Paper-based submissions remove the stress of court appearances

·  Legal costs covered by the scheme - free to applicants

·  A choice of two processes for accessing compensation - fast track and full review

·  Fast track applicants do not need to prove actual loss. Compensation is set at pre-determined levels, starting at £4,000 for those where minimal information was held, and rising to £20,000 where there is evidence that records had been accessed

·  The full review process is an alternative for those where there is evidence their records were accessed and who would prefer a more detailed investigation into their particular circumstances. An adjudicator will assess claims and set compensation up to a maximum of £100,000

The process of engagement with unions and workers' representatives has been ongoing since November 2013 and, throughout this time the companies have listened to the unions' views and have made substantial changes to the terms of the scheme in line with their requests.

All eight companies recognise that the activities of TCA were unacceptable and regret their involvement; they are sorry that information was held about individuals and for any hardship suffered as a result. To demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that such activity remains firmly in the past, the companies intend to sign up to the voluntary code of conduct that is being developed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development to ensure full transparency in pre-employment vetting processes.

The Compensation Scheme

The scheme provides two options for accessing compensation - fast track and full review.

Offering fixed levels of compensation, the fast track is designed for those looking for a fast payment against fixed criteria, or for those where only very basic information was held.

Under fast track, successful applicants will receive payments starting at £4,000 when only very basic information, such as a name and region, is held rising to a maximum of £20,000 when there is evidence that the records had been accessed to the applicant's detriment.

Under the fast track process applicants simply need to be able to demonstrate they are the person listed on the records; they do not need to prove loss of earnings as awards are based solely on the information held. Once an applicant knows they are eligible and decides to join the fast track, they will receive their compensation payment within two weeks.

The full review process is an alternative process for those people where there is evidence that their records were accessed and who would prefer a more detailed investigation of their particular circumstances. The full review provides the opportunity to submit evidence of the impact of TCA records on the individual's employment. These claims will be assessed by Sir Colin McKay, a highly respected retired High Court judge, who is completely independent of TCWCS and the eight companies. Sir Colin McKay will review each application and determine compensation up to a maximum of £100,000 for any individual claimant. Under full review, TCWCS anticipates the assessment of the claim and payment of compensation will be completed within three to six months. This is significantly faster than the High Court process.

Once an applicant has established that their name was held on TCA records, the scheme covers the cost of independent legal advice to help the applicant decide which option, fast track or full review, is best for their particular claim and circumstances. If an applicant already has a claim in the courts and would like to withdraw to join the scheme, TCWCS will also cover reasonable legal costs accrued to date.

The scheme is being run by an independent administration specialist. The application and claims handling process has been made as simple as possible with online, postal and telephone services available.

In addition to compensation payments, the companies are committed to offering refresher training where necessary to ensure that the skills, knowledge and certification of scheme applicants are up to date and provide no impediment to future employment.

Contacting TCWCS or making an initial enquiry

Full details of the terms of the scheme - from the application process to levels of compensation - can be found at construction worker, or the family of a deceased construction worker, who believes they may have been affected by TCA records can download an initial enquiry form which is also available from the TCWCS free-phone helpline on 0800 980 8337. The helpline will be open on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 July from 9am-5pm in addition to the normal weekdays opening hours.

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Prepared 27 March 2015