Full Carillion judgment exposes blacklisting scandal

A tribunal judge has issued a damning verdict on construction giant Carillion’s use of blacklisting – and the weak laws which denied its victims justice. Details of the judgment, which had been reserved from January, reveal stark criticism of Carillion.

Employment judge AM Snelson criticised the lack of legal protection for Dave Smith (above, second from right, with his pro bono legal team), an engineer who took Carillion to an employment tribunal after he discovered his name was on the illegal Consulting Association blacklist.

Carillion admitted that its subsidiaries Carillion (JM) and Schal International Management had used the Consulting Association’s blacklist. It also admitted that its managers supplied damaging and false information to the blacklist about Mr Smith because he had raised concerns about safety when he was an accredited safety rep for builders’ union UCATT.

Mr Smith lost his tribunal case because he was not employed directly but via an employment agency. But Judge Snelson said the tribunal had “reached our conclusion with considerable reluctance.” He added: “It seems to us that he has suffered a genuine injustice and we greatly regret that the law provides him with no remedy. We hope that he can take some comfort from the fact that the wrongdoing of which he complains has been exposed and punished and legislation passed designed to protect others from the misfortunes which he has experienced.”

Following publication this week of the judgment, Dave Smith said: “The written judgment says that I have suffered a great injustice at the hands of big business.” He added: “It is not just me, but thousands of other workers who have suffered a grave injustice. The decision sums up by saying that, as an agency worker, I have no protection under UK law. In that case we need to change the law. That’s why we are going to fight this all the way – we will appeal it to Strasbourg, if necessary.”

An appeal to an Employment Appeal Tribunal is being prepared.

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