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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49850
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was offered a job with a bank but they have withdrawn

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Hi, I was offered a job with a bank but they have withdrawn the offer due to a bad reference from my previous employer. Having got a copy of the reference I see that they have lied on it, saying I left due to issues, etc. This is untrue. I even won awards for them whilst there and had no discipline action at any time. Because I signed a form for the bank saying they could ask previous employers for references and I wouldn't seek compensation for anything written in these, does this mean I can't take my previous employer to court for losing the job due to their reference?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was the agreement just with the prospective employer and not with the former one which provided the reference?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It said that I agreed that my employer and referees shall not incur any liability or claim for compensation whatsoever under the DPA in respect of any document or information obtained through such enquiries and that I acknowledge that all referees are disclosing information confidentially. Surely an ex employer can't just lie on a reference though? I gave three references in total and both others were fine. I was told that the offer was withdrawn because of the reference. I had applied for several jobs before and felt that the interviews went well, however, never heard back after giving references. After finding out that I had received a bad reference I did not put my ex employer down as a reference and got the very next job I applied for!

Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you​
Many thanks for your patience. There is an implied expectation that any references supplied by an employer should be factually correct and represent the truth. That is because the employer owes you a duty of care to ensure that the reference meets that criteria. There have previously been claims for negligence against employers who have provided an untrue or misleading reference.
However, under law a party can exclude or limit their lability for their actions. For example, when you have your car valeted the company could limit their liability for any damage and prevent you from claiming. So even if they return it damaged and it is obvious they were at fault, their liability could be excluded and the customer may not be able to claim. Similarly, in this case the employer has limited their liability so even though they were negligent in their actions, they could still avoid liability. The only things that do not allow someone to exclude their liability for are death and personal injury, which are obviously not relevant here.
Finally, you must also consider what you can sue them for. You can only recover damages caused by their actions and these will generally be loss of earnings. If you have managed to find a new job soon after that which pays the same or better then your losses will be limited and overall may not be worth pursuing through the courts. So bear these factors in mind when considering your legal position.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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