Dave Smith vows to fight on after High Court judge upholds employment tribunal verdict

Declan Owens, David Renton, Dave Smith and John Hendy QC

Declan Owens, David Renton, Dave Smith and John Hendy QC

Blacklisting campaigner Dave Smith has lost his legal case against contractor Carillion heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

As Building reported last February, Smith took his employment tribunal claim to appeal, claiming he was repeatedly dismissed and refused work once his name appeared on The Consulting Association (TCA) blacklist following his raising of concerns about asbestos, poor toilet facilities and contaminated waste on London and Essex building sites controlled by Carillion companies.

However, in a judgement laid down by High Court judge Mrs Justice Slade DBE last Friday following a hearing in October, the judge found in favour of Carillion, saying that Smith was not directly employed by the contractor but by an employment agency and that UK employment law does not protect agency workers.

The judge also identified human rights violations and expressed concern that Smith, the secretary of the Blacklist Support Group, had “suffered an injustice from blacklisting”.

Smith, who was represented by John Hendy QC, barrister David Renton and solicitor Declan Owens via the Free Representation Unit, said hislegal team would now prepare an appeal.

“Blacklisting is a violation of human rights. We intend to fight this all the way to Europe until we achieve justice,” he said.

Smith also lost his original employment tribunal in January last year because he was not directly employed by the Carillion companies, including John Mowlem Construction, but via an employment agency.

A spokesperson for Carillion said: “Mr Smith had already dropped his claims against Carillion and another subsidiary company called Schal, and we are pleased that the Employment Appeal Tribunal has rejected his grounds for appealing an earlier Tribunal decision against the former Mowlem company which Carillion acquired in 2006. As the original Employment Tribunal found, Carillion has no liability to Mr Smith as he was never an employee of the business or any of its subsidiaries.”