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