Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When were you dismissed?
Two years ago
did you challenge the dismissal at the time?
do you have to use this employer still?
Yes because I worked years and they are a very high profile company and this was my last employment
Do you agree with the reasons ?
ok let me get my response ready please
This is an unfortunate situation, but sadly not one that could easily be avoided. Whilst there is no legal obligation on employers to provide a reference employees, if they choose to do so they will automatically owe them a duty to take reasonable care in its preparation. This requires the employer to be accurate in the contents of the reference and ensure it is based on facts, rather than just personal opinion.
Certain principles have been established through case law over the year, in the case of Bartholomew v London Borough of Hackney the employer provided a reference which contained details of disciplinary proceedings which were pending at the time the employee left. The court decided that the employer had not breached its duty of care by providing such a reference as it would have a duty 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 a reference that was not unfair or misleading.
So the issue would have been if the reference contained untrue or misleading information, in which case it could amount to a negligent reference, but in the circumstances that unfortunately does not appear to be the case and the employer is legally able to continue providing such references.
Is there anything at all I can do because as it stands I will be unemployed indefinitely
you can approach the employer that provides the reference to ask them not to mention this any longer - that you have paid the price with your dismissal and that you should be allowed to move on so if they can to just provide a factual reference with dates of employment and job title
or not use them as a referee but I understand that may not be possible due to the length of service with them
you are welcome, all the best