How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49865
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Is it ok to discriminate against temporary staff/contracto

This answer was rated:

is it ok to discriminate against temporary staff/contractors?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Can you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben,

I've recently started with a new job, but require a reference from my previous employer, but my previous employer says they do not provide references to contract staff (which I was). Therefore I would like to know if there is anything that prevents my previous employer from disciminating against me in this way?

Kind Regards,

***** *****.

Hello David, from a legal point of view this is not discrimination. That would only occur if you are being treated detrimentally for a protected characteristic. These are limited and include things like gender, age, race, religion, disability, etc. There are other levels of protection for part time employees or fixed term employees if they are not being treated equally as permanent or full time employees but it would not cover your situation if you are a contract worker – there is no protection for that specifically. So as the refusal to give you a reference is not based on a protected characteristic or because you were a fixed term or part time employee, rather a contractor the employer’s actions would not be unlawful. They could therefore have a policy where they decide not to issue references to these workers and it would not be unlawful. In fact the law does not require an employer to issue a reference at all – that is do at their own discretion. It is only if they choose to provide one that they would be required to ensure that the reference is accurate and factually correct.
I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, thanks Ben,

That's all I needed to know.

That's good to clarify the situation, even though it's not in my favour. Thank you for the prompt and concise response. I'll certainly remember this service in future.

Kind regards,


you are most welcome. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. And in the future if needed you can always start your question with for Ben Jones if you need more help. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you