Blacklisting in Employment: Final Report - Scottish Affairs Contents

Appendix 4: Letter to Chair from Peter Cheese, Chief Executive, CIPD, 12 March 2015

Dear Mr Davidson

Thank you for inviting me to make a further written submission to you in relation to the SAC's Blacklisting Inquiry.

Pre-employment Vetting

When I gave evidence to the Committee in September 2013, I informed you of our intention to publish employer guidance on pre-employment vetting, taking into account developments in social media and the increased availability of information online. The report, Pre-employment checks: an employer's guide, was published in December 2013 (see below link for your reference)

The report is intended to provide advice and guidance to employers across all sectors on how to conduct pre-employment checks in a responsible and ethical way. It clearly underlines the illegality and of using blacklists in employment and their inappropriateness in any context.

Following the publication of our pre-employment checks guidance, I was contacted in December 2013 by the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (CWCS), inviting the CIPD to produce a Code of Conduct on Pre-employment Vetting specifically for the construction sector. We produced a draft code in discussion with the employers and trade unions and have handed this draft over to the CWCS to progress in collaboration with the relevant trade unions.

In addition to promoting our own specific guidance on pre-employment checks, we have also been working with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) to promote its Good Recruitment Charter, which describes nine key principles for good practice in relation to recruitment more broadly.

CIPD Investigation into blacklisting in employment

I also stated that I would inform the Committee as and when decisions were taken in relation to the investigations into CIPD members alleged to have blacklisted during construction recruitment (ref Q2997 of the transcript of my evidence).

At that point in time, a CIPD Investigation Panel was sourcing and reviewing all available evidence in order to investigate allegations of blacklisting against a small number of our Members.

As a result of these investigations, some Member referrals were closed by the Panel with no case to answer as they did not find evidence of alleged breaches of our Code of our Professional Conduct ('Code').

Others have proceeded to a Disciplinary Hearing on the basis that the Members appear to have demonstrated conduct that was in breach of our Code. A Disciplinary Panel hears the evidence and determines whether the Code has been breached; if so the sanction to be applied and makes a recommendation to the CIPD on publication of the findings.

These are in progress and we expect them to have concluded in May of this year (subject to the right of appeal where relevant). However, please note the decision by the CIPD on whether it is in the public interest or the interest of the profession to publish specific details of each case, the Member and the penalty applied will be delayed.

This is because some referrals were placed on hold by the Investigation Panel as a result of a Group litigation order in the High Court (i.e. parallel proceedings) limiting the Panel's ability to collect evidence. We are continuing to review and taking advice as to when it will be possible for those investigations to continue.

When our Annual Review is published in November 2015, we will report in aggregate a summary of the cases upheld at

I hope this answers your questions but please let me know if I can be of further assistance. I would also like to again reiterate to the Committee our interest and commitment in eradicating discriminatory recruitment practices and improving standards and behaviours for the future.

Yours sincerely

Peter Cheese

Chief Executive

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