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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I was recently offered a new job which I accepted and was required

Customer Question

I was recently offered a new job which I accepted and was required to give my employer 4 week's notice. My future employer wanted me to start as soon as possible and so I needed to hand my notice in. The offer was conditional subject to satisfactory references. One of the references was my employer and the reference request asked about number of sick days over how many occasions in the last 24 months. I've had around 60 days off over 7 occasions (4 occasions were work related stress and the environment was not changed despite a third of the office being off with stress in the same 12 month period). Despite the written references being great, my future employer decided to withdraw my job offer due to the sickness level and when I asked to retract my resignation with my employer they said no, so I am now out of work. I've had conflicting information from different people as to the situation and where I stand. Can a future employer ask about sickness and can a referee give these details? I'm not ashamed of having time off for stress and the reason I was looking to leave was because of the environment and knew that I'd be fine elsewhere. I explained to the future employer that historically I do not take time off and even offered to do an extended probationary period which they were unwilling to accept. Where do I stand?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
is the information that they gave completely accurate?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes the sickness days were accurate and the referee also stated how good I was at my job and that I had a lot of strengths to take to a future employer. He also said he'd be happy to discuss further with them and they called him. Again he stated that I was good at my job and that there'd been a lot going on at work in terms of colleagues leaving (we had a high staff turnover in my team under another manager) and my work load tripling without any support from my manager

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

I do not dispute that the time taken off was
legitimately caused by the employer tripling your workload.

The employer is not under a duty to reply to
references although they are under a duty to reply accurately.

They can if they wish reply selectively and
refused to answer some questions if they think that it is not appropriate.

Your question seems to be 1 whether you can withdraw your resignation and
2 have they done anything wrong by
giving details of time off sick.

unfortunately, an employer has no legal
obligation to accept cancellation of resignation and it really comes down to

The situation is quite simply that the new
employer can ask this information but the current employer is under no duty to
volunteer the information although if they do give the information, it must be

I'm sorry, I appreciate this is not the answer
you wanted but there is no point in me misleading you. I have a duty to advise
you truthfully and honestly, even if the answer is unfavourable.

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