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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49821
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can a former employer refuse to give a reference saying 'J

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Can a former employer refuse to give a reference saying 'J worked for us
In this position

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Is your son's new/prospective employer requiring a more detailed reference? Also, how long ago did he leave his former employer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was sacked about five months ago and has been employed, on a temporary basis, via a teacher agency. He is now looking to get back into full time teaching and just needs his former employer to state how long he worked for them and his position. He was dismissed because of whistleblowing and had a gagging clause in his settlement figure. He can't apply for any jobs until has this from his former employer. He has been out of the teaching profession for about twelve years and his former employer refuses to give him a reference. Can a prospective new employer get a reference from his old?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He worked for his previous employer for, I think, over eight years

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all

Many thanks for your patience. First of all there is no legal requirement on employers to issue a reference for a previous employee, even if it is a very simple factual reference confirming his dates of employment or job role. There will only be an obligation on the employer to do so if this was a contractual right, i.e. the contract they had stated that the employer must issue a reference in the future.

In the absence of a contractual obligation, there is no legal requirement on them to issue a reference at all, even if that means future employment opportunities may be jeopardised.

Saying that, if he had blown the whistle and the reason for their refusal to issue a reference is because of this, that could amount to detrimental treatment due to making a protected disclosure and be unlawful. I suppose the way to consider this is by looking at whether other employees who had not made a disclosure been given references and if he is the only one that has not been issued with one, then it could help the argument that it is done because of the whistleblowing. Whilst he cannot force the employer to issue a reference, he can consider a claim for detrimental treatment against them, or at least use this as a threat to get them to change their mind

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. That's very helpful. Rating done but only five stars I'm afraid:)

Many thanks and all the best