Anti-Blacklisting Law Comes Into Force

24 March 2010

The Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010 came into force on 2 March 2010. They contain a general prohibition against any person compiling, using, selling or supplying a “prohibited list”. To be a “prohibited list”, the list must:

1) Contain details of persons who are or have been members of trade unions or persons who are taking part or have taken part in trade union activities; and
2) The list must be complied with a view to it being used by employers or employment agencies for the purposes of discrimination.

Interestingly, the Guidance states that “haphazard or unstructured collections of information” could qualify as a list, if the information is connected in some way and used for the same (prohibited) purpose. Information contained on blogs or forums could also qualify as a list and lists can be “mixed”, that is contain information about matters not related to trade union membership or activity. The Guidance makes clear that lists held outside the UK are covered and that “the Regulations cannot be evaded by placing the list offshore”.