• Have you been a victim of ERMS – a secret blacklist preventing some people getting jobs?
Have you been a victim of ERMS – a secret blacklist preventing some people getting jobs?
27 Oct, 2016, 14 Comment

Summary: Several years back there was a story floating around that a secret blacklist existed, preventing experienced, well-qualified workers from getting jobs on major resource and construction projects around Australia based on vendetta, payback and irrational behaviour of disgruntled bosses.....

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The system - known as ERMS (Employment Relations Management System) was intended to check the qualifications of prospective employees but, instead, was providing third parties with information about a wider set of parameters with a blacklisting eventuating, sometimes it was said without any real substance.

I’ve heard just yesterday through someone working in one of the oil & gas states of Australia, that this system still exists.

 Around then, the company that managed ERMS, Bright People Technologies, had denied the existence of such a blacklist. The recent web site for Bright People Technologies claims that the “product suite is used by more than 3,500 companies nationally to reduce costs, deliver improved operational efficiency and mitigate workforce risk”. So, based on its own claim on its web site, it is a system used by a lot of companies across Australia.

Examples of previous ERMA blacklisting were found through a Facebook listing where comments have included: 

“I feel that I have been black listed on ERMS from my last job at Rio Tinto. It may not have been them but maybe my contractor I worked for. I know the reason if I have. I am a safety advisor and flagged up a bullying case that everybody tried to hide. The person involved was so distressed and did not know where to turn to. I took her to the local hospital as no Management at work seemed to care and the doctor said it was one of the worst cases he had seen of harassment and bullying in the workplace. This person had mouth ulcers, sores developing on her head and severe heart palpitations. She has been off work for 6 months now and still trying to recover. At the time I flagged it and told the doctor it was a workers compensation claim. It turned into a major issue. Her boss was sacked, when he was trying to help as well. I was demobilized from site, before the contract ended shortly after this. I am finding it hard to get another job. I have been in construction for 15 years and doing safety for 7 years. I too, feel like I have been put on the ERMS system (black listed), and all I was doing, was my job”


“I would like to find out is there a blacklist, ERMS (Electronic Management Recruitment System) because I was sacked from Monadelphous and haven’t been able to get hired since.”


“ERMS … can be used against an individual. "Black list " does exist, maybe not officially. Was on the " black list " for a few years myself had to move interstate to start again. Just need one supervisor to not like you, they make a comment on your file and you are stuffed. Am back working now on a site that doesn't use ERMS, I'm happy, company's happy and it's all going great. One of the reasons I left construction”


“Just applied for two jobs in Darwin. I'm a professional in my field of work with a great track record. I’ve been in my line of work for 20 plus years. It seems I'm not allowed on the Itchies project Darwin yet agc and Civmec put me thru medicals, done reference checks waiting to mobilise both times, then suddenly sorry the client won't allow you on site. #%#? Am I on erms and unaware of it???? Any help would be good.”


“We are a company based in SA that has the same initials as Erms- the amount of time I spend taking calls from ppl who have been 'blacklisted' by the ERMS database defies belief, on average 10 -15 calls a day - I have concerns about the amount of ppl who have been blacklisted by this database, also it appears that the database administrators lack transparency in allowing ppl listed to enquire about their records - if the online professional would like to contact me about this issue, please do!”


“In some cases these workers have gone through an induction stage and have then been told they haven't got a job (because of being blacklisted via ERMS). ----- nothing like it happened when he was employed on sites in New South Wales despite his union involvement there.”


“I believe I am on the list because any jobs that I apply for with companies that use this mechanism reply almost straight away telling me I have not been successful. This is very rare (the quick response) as usually there is either no response or an offer of employment from any potential employer that does not use this system. I also have had several face to face interviews and been told that all I needed was ERMS approval, filled out the forms and then been told I have been denied ERMS approval.

“The reason I am on the list is because I refused to do a task that was contrary to site safety rules and Government legislation/regulation was an unlawful/unsafe direction and I was given the ultimatum to perform the task or my employment would be terminated. I gave the supervisor notice to quit and he told me he was going to put the incident on my permanent work performance record (his version).”


So the question is - how prevalent was this when it was in full force years back and how valid is this type of blacklisting system now? Especially with such strict Privacy Laws which should mitigate this being done, given huge penalties which can be slugged on the companies through the vicarious liability of their managers? Email me under complete confidentiality at raypavri@wattelectricalnews.com if you have any information about this.

ray pavri 27/10/2016

  • MyPassion

    28 Oct, 2016

    I have the same issues on this unfair practices that followed by several companies on relying with ERMS. I believed this system should be stop immediately. Unemployment rate is getting higher and higher. Many innocent experienced trades and professionals are currently suffering if really ERMS is in existence. I'm one of those professionals. I've been recognized as Professional Electrical Engineer and have good track safety record and experienced but cannot get a job. Please help to stop this ERMS.
  • MyPassion

    28 Oct, 2016

    Howdy folks, Made redundant since Nov 2015 - applied for many a job - just nothing. However, on LinkedIn I am always being “viewed” but nothing ever comes of it ??? ONE interview in all that time, and the recruiter says that I'm well known in the industry and my engineering and technical competencies are well known, but I've pissed everyone off. So, doing my job properly, which 99% of the time is pushing back "management's" ridiculous or downright dangerous requests, has obviously made the perception I'm not a "team player". Now this. I sent these people an e-mail requesting my details be struck off their records - one of their "services" is Workforce Validation - they make a list for companies so that "management" are better informed as to has the right qualifications to enter a site, and so on - got check it out - what else is on that list ? Posting anonymously to not jeopardise myself in the future.
  • MyPassion

    30 Oct, 2016

    The existence of such a database would explain why I've been unemployed since 2012 after three jobs as a contractor where for each I was placed in an untenable position having to take action for safety and risk purposes with site and Perth based management exerting pressure on me to turn the other way, or wanting to appease the major client (one being FMG), by putting me in my box and allowing certain leniences which contravened safety law. After over a thousand unsuccessful applications and 4 years unemployment and now trying to find work as a basic office admin I have to say I'm prepared to believe there's some kind of database I've been put into that stops me from getting a job. So much for our IR legislation protecting the worker. It's not worth the paper it's written on.
  • MyPassion

    04 Nov, 2016

    I feel this has happened to me hence why I can't get my foot back in the door. I am a professional in drafting but since I am over qualified with a number of business credentials etc.... I am deemed a threat. I lost my previous position to an intern than that boss and intern labelled me as a 'scab' right before my first year was up. All I needed was one year's employment to get myself licensed but she ended my contract a few weeks prior. My former boss being a jew (literally was) refused to give me a reference despite working for her and doing well by her. Her reason was because she thought I was a Nazi (when in fact I wasn't or not even a descendant of them) because I didn't get in to xmas spirit as much as she thought and her family was wiped out by them. At the same time, an intern was looking for a job and what better than to take mine. She had to find a reason to get rid of me and this is why i find it hard to a new career.
  • MyPassion

    Name Withheld
    04 Nov, 2016

    This is not just in the Mining Industry:( Its happening in the Hospitality and security as well .. The emploeyment agencies MLKA, Frontlin, Manpower all use these lists and once on it nothing you can do to get off unless you can find the name of the person who added you and get them to re-reference you.
  • MyPassion

    30 Dec, 2016

    Secret databases should not be allowed. Any employee should be able to view and challenge the truth of any information posted about them. The slander laws give too much freedom to employers in regard to comments about employees.
  • MyPassion

    05 Jan, 2017

    The latest info that I have is that there are three "Codes" ... By the admission of a superintendent to a group of 20 workers he accused of stealing tools "I'll fucken Code Three ya and you'll never get another job on a major job!" The electricians probably hadn't stolen the tools from unlocked containers. For instance, a multimeter was stolen but the bag and leads were left (probably to look like it was still there). It was probably night time security who were mainly .... well, they came from another continent and they had come by plane. "If God didn't want me to have that, he wouldn't have made you forget to lock it up." Anyway, there are three codes and Code Three is "We won't employ this person again." The WA ETU Industrial Officer has told (hearsay on hearsay) a Qld ETU Industrial Officer that the other two codes are, Code One "We would employ this person again." and Code Two "We don't really care about this person." I had heard about four years ago that ERMS had no good codes, Code One = Trouble maker, Code Two = worse etc ... but while this is a secret database that the people listed on it can't inspect the information ... there will always be suspicions.
  • MyPassion

    10 Jan, 2017

    I worked at Bright Technologies for a few months and there isn't a blacklist. When an employee is demobilised as part of the demobilisation process at the end of employment, the employer/project has three options - 1, 2, 3. What this means: 1 and 2 demobilises you and keep your CV current. 3 demobilises you and deactivates your CV, which simply means when you apply for a new job, the verification process starts again (e.g. checking references). When an employer picks one of these options, this information is NOT kept in ERMS. It is kept by the project or company for their own records. I think companies use the "blacklist" excuse when they're too chicken to give a real answer as to why you were not the successful applicant. One thing I would not recommend doing is ask to see what information about you is stored in ERMS. They charge a fee to view it, and the only information kept in ERMS is what the applicant provides themselves when they apply for a job. So you'll be paying money to see information you already know! (The only practice I disagreed with). You really need to push back on the company you applied to or the project to find out why you were unsuccessful. And be wary of working for Roy Hill - the travel team there are the most vile people I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with and was why I left the job.
  • MyPassion

    Name Withheld
    07 Feb, 2017

    I just called bright tech after hearing of a so called blacklist. I must pay for the info I'm looking for so thank you for the heads up on that part. I've been turned down 6 jobs in the mining sector just this last 10 days!! Something is not right... :(
  • MyPassion

    09 Feb, 2017

    The black list does exist and BPT know it. I had my information removed after being unemployed for 2 years. I then had to work overseas as it was my only option ( glad i did because its so much better than working for bastards in oz) I was back in oz for a visit and just out of curiosty, applied for a job that i knew would be using the erms system. Imagine my supprise when i was presented with my current details, work history in oz (up to date) and my new postal address. When i rang the vermin and put them on the spot, the woman stuttered and mumbled, then went silent for over a minute (probably asking what to say from a colleague ) then tried to fob me off with some story as to why they had my details. I reported them to the prime minister (rudd) who had it investigated but the ABCCC took over and that was the end of that. This company is protected by CCI, the govenment and other delartments and are untouchable. Try finding out where theur offices are...you wont...very secretive. Why? Because they know they would be targets and know they are breaking the law. We need hackers to atrack their system and completely destroy the company.
  • MyPassion

    28 Feb, 2017

    Hi everyone who has commented to this. I want to start a WhatsApp Group in relation to this. That way we can easily keep in touch and encourage everyone affected by this to join. This will create a lobbying voice which can then seek an outcome, rather than just elicit comments. If you are interested, please SMS Ray on 0417442326 and I will add you to this group regards Ray
  • MyPassion

    22 Mar, 2017

    The question is does anyone know after all your information is deleted on the erms system Do they still keep you on the blacklist or they still keep your information in secret ?
  • MyPassion

    24 Apr, 2017

    It's illegal to store and distribute unverified information about anyone. The correct procedure is to verify the record with the intended victim which allows the victim the right of reply under the the civil rights act. These systems need to be hacked and the information gained presented in a class action case against the company that stores the data, the companies and employees that use the data and the person the enters the data to compensate the victims for lost of income. ERMS Enable Recruitment Management System www.brighttechnologies.com.au http://www.justanswer.com/australian-law/7wxqf-appear-black-listed-legal.html
  • MyPassion

    01 May, 2017

    This story actually happened. It is what the person has noted, but I will give you additional details.

    I was a senior employee for a sub-contractor on a Rio Tinto site and I saw this happen.

    There was an employee (the victim) that was being unreasonably bullied by 2 other employees . They had previously bullied another employee who complained and was forced to resign.

    The project manager heard of what was happening from various employees. The PM also received complaints from the 2  employees that were carrying out the bulling. 

    The PM requested one of the managers  to do a report on work productivity, volume, accuracy and QA of all three employees (the victim and the bullies). The contention was that the 2 bullies accused the victim of poor quality, littered with errors.

    As result an investigation was conducted, which also included the 2 bullies and the person being bullied.

    The person doing the investigation obtained the procedure from HR (who was also informed of the investigation) and he was also instructed by the site manager to provide a copy of the report to him on completion. He undertook the investigation as per the procedure and collated all the data and reviewed the quality, quantity, volume and accuracy of the works. The manager then submitted the report.

    The report showed that the allegations against the person being bullied were not true. Rather, the person being bullied and accused of poor performance, was in fact the best performer of all and vindicated of all the purported claims 

    The victim thereafter was continually bullied no end and became very sick and as the attached from your website shows, she was eventually taken to hospital. The person that took her to hospital (as stated by that person on the attached) was the HSE rep. He had also witnessed the bullying. The victim was hospitalized, then was unable to work thereafter for somewhere between 6 months to 1 or 2 years.

    The victim then successfully sued the company, but it took its toll on her to live through the experience, and the agreed out of court settlement was significantly less and by no means covered the losses from sickness and loss of work encountered thereafter. 

    Then this is what happened to the person who did the investigation.

    The day the victim was taken into hospital, he was called to the office and asked why he had carried out the investigation. The PM accused him of acting without his knowledge and that the investigation (that had proved the victim innocent) that he was asked to do, and that the PM now denied ever requesting, was the reason why the victim was hospitalised. 

    The person that did the investigation was subsequently sacked.

    Of course he said that he was requested to undertake the investigation and that the PM (who was the person that was sacking him at the time) was the one that had requested it. He showed the evidence that the PM himself had requested the investigation and the evidence from the HR manager (who was also aware that the investigation was being done) provided  the procedure to undertake the investigation and the evidence that showed the site manager also requesting the investigation, but none the less, he was terminated on the spot.

    Despite the facts, the sole blame of the victims hospitalization was on the manager conducting the investigation.

    I then left the company. I’ve heard from other employees that the 2 people carrying out the bullying were then either demoted or terminated, but I don't know this for sure.

    I do know for certain that the victim, after her recuperation from hospital, spent some time with another employee who offered to share her home with the victim to aid in recuperation. This person was thereafter also sacked.

    The HR manager was also give a warning.

    It also appears from the blog on your website that the HSE rep that took the victim to hospital was also sacked.

    Basically anyone that had anything to do with the victim was terminated .

    I believe all involved were provided with poor ERMS scores.

    I know for certain that the manager responsible for the investigation did.

    The point that needs to be made clear is this: The ERMS is certainly NOT a system that should be relied upon for accuracy or integrity. It's used as a means to sledge and defame workers. The ERMS system is basically a legal means by supervisors and managers to defame people that they may not like for any number of discriminatory reasons.

    I know of a case just recently on my current job where a highly qualified and intelligent graduate engineer with a double degree was lied to and totally mislead by his 2 managers. He was then involved in an argument between them and was subsequently terminated. The graduate engineer was innocent. He was told by the manager that he will never get a job in WA again for the next 5 years. I take that as meaning his ERMS record will be such, that he will be disqualified (finding it difficult) based on the poor ERMS record-which has a life span (I am assuming) of 5 years.

    The ERMS system is an extension of victimization where there is no transparency or accuracy required. It's simply abused to punish victims and anyone that may be marginalized. This includes anyone that relates as LGBT, people from other religious backgrounds and people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

    ERMS needs to go.

    In essence ERMS is a "legal avenue" of on line bullying. There is no difference between ERMS and writing defamatory comments about others on your Facebook page.

    And of course, the opposite is also true. Employees often do use ERMS to provide an exaggerated appraisal of their friends and associates in order that they receive a "positive and exaggerated" view of their performance that results in the employee receiving better job prospects - more so than what they may normally deserve.

    Anonmyous, 01/05/2017

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