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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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My husband who has been an accountant plus years explored a

Resolved Question:

Hello
My husband who has been an accountant for 20 plus years explored a career change into teaching. He spent a number of days observing at a local school and gaining information he needed. He decided to pursue this and was subsequently interviewed by the school for a teacher training post.
He says he was collected from reception and immediately felt negative vibes. He sat an exam, delivered a class for twenty minutes and was then interviewed by a panel. One of the panel members asked him if his CV was full and he said it was. They then asked him about a company he was involved in that went into liquidation to the sum of £30,000 that was not on his CV. My husband advised it was a company I ran through a franchise. I ran it through a company that was set up as both of us were considering working on a self employed basis. My husband advised I had to be assessed through a twelve month training programme to receive a license to practise within the franchise. He said he had never drawn a salary or a dividend from the company and had no dealings with the running of the company. He said it added nothing to his CV so he never added it. At the interview he asked if this was a problem and they asked who the debtors were , "Will we have parents shouting you owe them money?" My husband replied HMRC and the franchise were the debtors.
The next day he e mailed the panel with the insolvency paperwork, confirming the debt was in fact £7,000 and the debtors were as he had said. He confirmed that I had simultaneously applied for a job at the school, it was on my CV and I had crossed referenced my husband to it.
My husband was unsuccessful. His feedback stated he had failed to engage the class [he said they spontaneously clapped on two occasions so he was surprised.] He asked if the issue around the insolvency and it not being on his CV was an issue. He was very keen to become a teacher and had committed many hours to it. Holding off new accountancy projects. He was categorically advised this was not an issue and they were satisfied with his response and this e mail the following day.
My husband subsequently secured a teacher training place at another school. He had a meeting last week at this school and he was advised the original school had contacted them to advise he had a history of "bankruptcy." My husband advised he had never been declared bankrupt. The school said it was not an issue as this would not prevent him becoming a teacher.
Can the original school do this? How do we know there were not other criteria they judged him against but did not share? How do we know they wont phone other schools throughout his career?
Many thanks for your help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Has his new job actually been affected by the comments from the previous school?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, no. But he has a teacher training post with no guaranteed job at the end so will be applying for jobs in twelve months time. He has spent time visiting different schools and understands they can be small community's. Fortunately, the current school said they preferred a more transparent approach. He was fortunate the school had no issue and shared it with him. We know this man has done it once and are aware of it. But what if he does it again without us knowing?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. The school should have only contacted the new employer if they had been asked to provide a reference. Legally there is nothing preventing them from contacting anyone else, just as you are free to contact whoever you wanted, but they have to be careful that any information they provide does not breach data protection rules and that it is also accurate.

I would not say there is a data protection issue here because the information they would have shared is something that is public so it is not like it was entrusted to them for confidential safekeeping. However, they have not been accurate with what they said and they have potentially caused issued for him by providing false information to a third party. This could be negligent on their part and if he had suffered losses as a result then he could have taken matters further. This was not the case here but it could be a potential issue in the future.

So it would be best if he contacts them and makes it clear that without a formal reference request they should not be contacting parties in the future and also that if they were to provide a reference it should be truthful and accurate and the information they provided here was not. Finally, he needs to be clear that if they provide false information again and he suffers losses as a result, he would be pursuing them for negligence.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps he needs to follow should he have to pursue them for negligence in the future, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. If he wanted to seek compensation through claiming negligence, it is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.