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Major firms including Sir Robert McAlpine, Balfour Beatty and Skanska have accepted liability for their role in the blacklisting scandal, and have extended an olive branch of sorts towards workers whose livelihoods were threatened by the Consulting Association.

The scandal, which first came to light in 2009, revealed details of a blacklist comprised of the names of 3,200 construction industry workers deemed to be ‘left-wing troublemakers’ or active trade union members. Some 44 major contractors paid to access the database, using it to avoid hiring workers that may have proved problematic down the line.

The new compensation scheme, implemented by eight companies (many of which were implicated in the blacklisting scandal) is being used to determine appropriate levels of remuneration for the employees originally included on the database.

It is thought that the compensation could run into ‘hundreds of millions of pounds', but most commentators are agreed that the scheme represents a step forward for the construction industry.

Justin Moule, Managing Director of construction software provider Integrity Software, said, ‘The compensation scheme is a really positive move for the industry, as it provides those workers affected with a fair chance of maintaining a steady livelihood.’

‘No-one deserves to be discriminated against in the workplace, whether for their political views or any other reason.’