UK staff accused of theft or dishonesty could be listed on a database now available to employers.
The National Staff Dismissal Register (NSDR) has gone live and can hold details of individuals who have been dismissed or left employment while under investigation for acts of dishonesty.
This information can be shared with other members of the register who will be able to access the national system to check details of job applicants as part of their recruitment process.
The NSDR plans to provide access to the online database through a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) portal, which protects data access and offers encrypted log-in.
The database and software that enables it to be searched will be held on separate servers with firewall and Internet Protocol Security (Ipsec) separating application and data for further security.
The register is an initiative from Action Against Business Crime (AABC), which was a partnership between the British Retail Consortium and the Home Office until 2007, to reduce crime in all businesses across all sectors.
The AABC said it no longer had anything to do with the Home Office and was a now wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Retail Consortium.
“For dishonest employees who have not been convicted or cautioned for their dishonesty, there is currently no central location where further checks can be made concerning an applicant’s previous employment history,” said a statement from AABC’s website.
The current system of employment references is too easily circumvented by dishonest applicants, according to AABC.
However, union body the TUC is concerned that employers could use the register to shut ex-employees out of the job market by falsely accusing them of misconduct or sacking them.
“Individuals would be treated as criminals, even though the police have never been contacted,” said TUC senior employment rights pfficer Hannah Reed.
“The Criminal Records Bureau was set up to assist employers to make safe appointments when recruiting staff to work with vulnerable groups.
Under the new register an employee may not be aware they have been blacklisted or have any right to appeal.”
AABC has been working with Hicom Business Solutions to develop the system.