Nigel Bryson takes a look at the ongoing problem of blacklisting “troublemakers” in the construction industry.

Background

On 23 February 2009, investigators from the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) raided the premises of the Consulting Association (CA). There they found numerous files holding personal details of 3218 construction workers. They confirmed that these files formed an illegal blacklist. As a result, they prosecuted the Director Ian Kerr and he was fined £5000 under the Data Protection Act.

From the files, the ICO was able to identify the construction companies that had established, funded and used the illegal blacklist to stop certain workers from being employed. Each of the companies the ICO identified was sent an “enforcement letter”. This required them not to use the information they had obtained.

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