21 May 2008
Online employee database "wide-open to being abused"
The proposed online employee database scheduled to be released later this month is "wide-open to being abused", according to one industry practitioner.
Becky Hogge, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said that the National Staff Dismissal Register - which is being developed by Action Against Business Crime, a partnership between the Home Office and the British Retail Consortium - could discourage workers from coming forward with grievances.
She stated: "Essentially this proposal undermines the courts by building a more effective means of punishing people in a non-judicial manner, with few of the checks and balances we've built up over the centuries."
Ms Hogge went on to say that the database could have negative consequences for both workplace rights activists and whistle-blowers.
The register, which is to be accessible by subscription, will enable employers to report former staff who are accused of theft or other misconduct, whether they are charged or not.
Edward Cooper, head of the Employment Department of Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "Workers could be victims of the process, with management jumping to conclusions or even 'scapegoating' to save their own necks."