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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47594
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi. My wife was sacked from her job for alleged safeguarding

Customer Question

Hi. My wife was sacked from her job for alleged safeguarding issues which she strenuoulsy denies. That said, she had position terminated on the word of others during the disciplinary hearings and appeal. She admitted to falsefying a document but states this was due to being pressured. Some days later, she got another job, and her old boss found out. He rang the new employer who immediately terminated the new position. Can the old boss do this? I am trying to protect her reputation.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What did the old boss say exactly?

JACUSTOMER-n68e155n- :

He said that she had her employment terminated due to being in breach of safeguarding policy which she has always denied.

Ben Jones :

Whilst not an official reference the same principles will apply as this is effectively information supplied from one employer to another.

The law requires an employer to owe an employee a duty to take reasonable care in the preparation and dissemination of such information. This basically requires the employer to be accurate in its contents and ensure it is based on facts, rather than personal opinion.

For example, in the case of Bartholomew v London Borough of Hackney the court decided that the employer was not in breach of its duty of care to the employee by providing a reference which contained details of disciplinary proceedings which were pending when the employee left. An employer is under a duty of care to provide a reference that is true, accurate and fair and does not present facts so as to give a misleading impression overall. Therefore, if the employer had not included details of the disciplinary proceedings it would have failed in its duty to the prospective employer to provide information that was not unfair or misleading.

In the later case of Cox v Sun Alliance Life Ltd it was decided that an employer will be negligent in providing information to a new employer that refers to an employee’s misconduct unless the employer had carried out an investigation and had reasonable grounds for believing that the misconduct had taken place.

If some of the above conditions are met, the employer is unlikely to be acting unlawfully or negligently and can provide the information in question. However, if it is obvious that incorrect facts have been relied on, the contents are false or evidently misleading, there may be a potential case for negligence against the employer and this matter could be taken further by seeking compensation due to negligence in the civil courts.

Ben Jones :

If you have any questions please post them here, I have some scheduled internet maintenance and my connection will probably drop but I will respond as soon as I am back online, thank you

JACUSTOMER-n68e155n- :

Thanks Ben. I guess it would be very difficult now to ascertain what was actually said from a telephone call as people can always dispute. I guess it would be hearsay would that be right?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your patience. Hearsay would be when a witness provides information given to them by someone else. However, if someone provides evidence about something that they have said then this would not be hearsay and it would be direct evidence. If that is the case then they would be able to provide details themselves and be questioned directly if the need arises.

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