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Workers win "unfair ruling" battle

Nurses and care workers have won a legal battle that gives them the right to speak out against being banned from working with vulnerable adults and children.

The judgment by the Law Lords goes against a previous decision by the House of Lords, which ruled against employees being able to make representations before they are placed on the "provisional list".

The list results in immediate exclusion from the workplace and a wait of up to a year or more before they can represent their case.

The new ruling has decided that the scheme was unfair and incompatible with human rights laws, and it has been welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

RCN chief executive Dr Peter Carter said: "Until now, nurses placed on the list provisionally were banned from working in any care setting – sometimes on the flimsiest of evidence or on the basis of malicious accusations, without the fundamental right to a hearing."

He said that the ruling means the government is now liable to pay millions of pounds in compensation to people who had been wrongly removed from the workforce.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Royal College of Nursing