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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 74417
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have worked in a care home since August 2nd 2012.Due to

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I have worked in a care home since August 2nd 2012.Due to differences with my manager in March 2020 (who has now resigned ) I handed in a letter of resignation in March but re-tracted it a week later.I had a meeting with my area manager who informed me that he had found someone else to fill my position as activities co-ordinator but he could offer me a zero hour contract, I accepted this as I didn't want to leave my residents and friends that I had dealt with over the years. I was then doing my 37.5 hrs a week until the manager came back from sick leave or holidays, and they put in a support manager to work with her as there had been an investigation into her ways of working (I don't know if this was anything to do with her resigning ).I have had one issue with alcohol in the past and I was off sick for 7 wks, due to stress, and at that time my work were very good about this, but I slept in one morning in March and when I went into work around 10am, I started a domestic shift, to help out due to the corona virus, and both managers came up to speak to me then asked me down to a meeting where they both stated that they could smell stale alcohol from me (I had NOT been drinking the night before) and I told them this but they decided to send me home and said they would call me later that day. I called my G.P when I got home who advised me to take time off work due to my low mood so I called into work and said that I would be off and I have been off now for 9 wks and my G.P has called me today and extended my time off for another 4 wks as she feels I am not ready to go back to work yet. I call in each month to let my management know where we are at and I get my husband to take sick notes down as soon as I receive them through the post. No-one has ever called me to ask how I am in this period of sick leave. I have thought about resigning but I'm not sure if I would be able to claim for any benefits as my husband works and earns around £330 pounds per week. I am also worried that I am not paying my stamp duties each month and how this will affect things when I try to claim my state pension. Can you offer me any advice. Thank you for your time, Christine Black.
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No I haven't, this manager who is in charge at the moment isn't the nicest person to speak to.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am as far as I know still classed as an employee.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I would just like to know if I resigned, would I be able to claim any benefits and are my employers allowed to give me a bad reference if I was able to find another position of employment?

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Can I just check, did you get a new contract when you were offered zero hours?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would prefer to continue as we are doing.

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. The main risk with resigning is that any benefits may be delayed by up to 26 weeks. That is because the Government does not usually like to pay benefits to people who have deliberately placed themselves out of a job. Of course, there are circumstances when you were forced to leave though no fault of your own but you would have to show that this was the case and convince them that you had valid grounds to leave without having your benefits affected. The whole process could still some weeks which means your benefits could be delayed, even if not for the full 26 weeks.

In terms of the reference, in general, there is no legal obligation on employers to provide a reference for past employees, with the only exceptions being if there was a contractual obligation to do so or for very limited types of roles in the financial sector. It would also be discriminatory if a reference is refused because of someone’s age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation.

If an employer decides to issue a reference, they will automatically owe the subject a duty to take reasonable care in its preparation. This requires the employer to be accurate in the contents of the reference and ensure it is true, accurate and fair and does not provide a misleading impression.

The main legal test is from the case of Lawton v BOC Transhield, which requires a court to ask whether a reasonably prudent employer would have expressed the opinions which were stated in that particular reference and to ensure the accuracy of the facts upon which any opinion expressed in the reference was based.

In the case of Cox v Sun Alliance Life Ltd the employer provided a reference that contained details of an employee's alleged misconduct. However, they did not properly investigate these before providing the reference and the employee challenged the information in it. The court decided that an employer will be negligent in providing a reference that refers to an employee’s misconduct unless the employer had carried out a reasonable investigation and had grounds for believing that the misconduct had taken place. Conversely, had they referred to the alleged misconduct but stated it had not been investigated, it would have been acceptable as that would have been a fair and accurate description.

So if it is obvious that incorrect facts have been relied on or the contents are false or misleading, the employee could consider taking the matter further.

Does this answer your query?

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Happy with the answer I recieved and I rate 4 star.

You are most welcome

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