Labour & European Law Review
14 July 2011
The rights of blacklisted workers in the UK received a fillip at the end of last month when the European Commissioner with responsibility for employment, social affairs and inclusion gave his backing to EU wide legislation to outlaw the practice.
The law says that tribunals can draw inferences from evasive answers given by respondents in questionnaires when defending claims of discrimination. In Deer v Walford and the University of Oxford, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) said that even if the answers are less than complete, it does not necessarily follow that they should be characterised as “evasive or equivocal”.
Common law (made by judges) says that employers owe employees a duty of care when writing references. The High Court has now said in McKie v Swindon College that employers may also have to pay damages to employees if they make negligent statements about them to a former employer.