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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I left my job as a XXX XXXXat XXX XXXX. I raised a grievence for the way I'd been treated regarding low pay, lack of training and working at a higher level than my pay scale as there was never a XXXXXXXXXXXX, my concerns for an ageing colleges failing mental health and a general lack of health and safety policies and procedures. This situation escalated as meeting minutes were either not taken by the school or they omitted the bits they didn't like! This led to a meeting with myself my XXXXXXXXXXXX, the XXXXXXXXXXXX, 2 XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX and 3 XXXXXXXXXXXX In the meeting I was able to produce paper work which proved my case and that the school had lied. During the meeting the XXXXXXXXXXXX became very adjatated and was incredibly rude to me, the meeting was adjourned after nearly 2 hours. I was told that the Governors were appalled by the XXXXXXXXXXXX behaviour. The next day myXXXXXXXXXXXX under the XXXXXXXXXXXX  instruction asked me to think of a sum of money to leave my job. The XXXXXXXXXXXX has a horrible reputation within the school and the local community and I knew he would make things very difficult for me if I stayed. I was also warned prior to the greivence "not to cross him" I finally agreed on a settlement of 5 months pay and a confirmed reference to leave at the end of June2014. As I was on a very low wage for the work I carried out (part of my greivence) the money was only XXXXXXXXXXXX. I remained a loyal cooperative employee during the long grievence process and had the full support of my XXXXXXXXXXXX. I recently accepted a job in another school XXX XXXX for a similar position and double the pay I was on. I provided 2 referee, theXXXXXXXXXXXX  for my agreed reference and the XXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXX asked me to confirm referees email addresses as they were getting no reply! Eventually my agreed reference was sent. When XXX XXXX called the XXXXXXXXXXXX to verify my reference, he was very negative, uncooperative and refused any comment implying I was a problem! The reference is quite lengthy so there's lots he could have commented on within the agreed reference. He then silenced theXXX XXXX and he refused to supply a reference at all. I have an email I sent theXXXXXXXXXXXXasking him to be a referee for me and a reply saying "it would be a pleasure" and wishing me luck! I also have an email from him apologising for the wrong doings and not acting when he should have etc, XXXXXXXXXXXXcontacted me saying all the checks had been done, everything was fine, just waiting on the references! The end result is my dream job offer was withdrawn! As I was never in the wrong with the school and basically gagged by the XXXXXXXXXXXX I am very aggrieved and angry by the treatment I have received by the school while in employment and after. I feel I'm being victimised by the XXXXXXXXXXXXfor crossing him! As he has now silenced other staff, I can no longer get a fair representation for my 14 years of service! and the reference he provided is not worth the paper it's written on judged by his bad attitude. I have spoken to XXXXXXXXXXXX and been advised to lodge a formal complaint with the XXX XXXX against theXXX XXXX. I would be grateful of any advice you can give me as I feel this is a very unfair situation I've been left in. I also don't want to be in breach of the Compromise Agreement Best regards ***** *****

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Can you tell me which route you are thinking of going down like loss of earning and defamation of character what would you hope to achieve.

Customer: Hi Ben,
Customer: Defamation of character is what I think is happening here. I'm worried this will come up again when I get offered another job. The School was given a bad ofsted recently which the XXXXXXXXXXXX rejected! He is out of favour with local authority, Governors and parents. I was un officially told he has until Christmas to improve or go! What Im saying is, he is well known for being a particularly nasty person. So a complaint to Governors may not benefit me but add to the long list of complaints against him! I does seem to me that he's in breach of contract here??
Ben Jones :

ok thank you for that information.please leave it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this evening. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you

Customer: Thank you XXX
Customer: Sorry meant ageing colleagues failing mental health.
Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I tried to get back to you last night but had problems accessing the site and have only just managed to get back in.

I just wanted to ask you first if the CA had agreed a specific wording for a reference, or was it just a general agreement that a reference would be provided?

Customer: It was agreed.
Customer: thanks
Customer: I was told to write my reference and the head signed it. It was quite detailed regarding all the work I covered. It was a good honest reference and I was given a copy when I signed the CA. I understand that he would only be able to comment on what he'd signed, there was a lot of positive information written that he just needed to confirm!
Customer: XXX
Ben Jones :


If the CA also included a specific reference that the employer was going to provide and they subsequently either failed to do so or provided a reference that was different to the one that was agreed, the employer would be acting in breach of contract and it could also amount to negligence. In both cases it is possible to pursue the employer for compensation for damages incurred as a result of their actions. This would not be an amount to punish them with, but something to compensate you for actual and genuine losses incurred. So you will have to show that losses have been incurred in the first place before you can take this further.

In your case you are looking at losses suffered as a result of the new employer retracting their offer of employment as a result of the reference which was not agreed. You will be able to submit your claim in the county court and you will only really be looking at financial compensation rather than anything else, such as forcing them to provide any specific reference.

Before you actually make a claim you should contact the employer to advise them that their actions amount to breach of contract and/or negligence and request that they compensate you accordingly. Advise them that you reserve your rights to pursue this further in the courts if no satisfactory resolution is reached.

If you have to take this further legally then you can make your claim online via

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer: Hi Ben,
Customer: thanks for the information.
Customer: As I said, He did eventually send the agreed reference. It was his refusal to confirm the reference when the new employer contacted him.
Customer: My questions are,
Customer: how can he refuse to confirm a reference he signed?
Customer: Or tell my head of department to refuse me a reference, when I have it in writing from him that he would.
Customer: Will I be in breach of contract, when I write a letter of complaint to the chair of Governors, if I mention the CA?
Customer: He has put me in a potentially 'unemployable' situation as I can't get a fair representation for my 14 years of service! This can't possibly be permissible?
Customer: thanks
Customer: XXX
Ben Jones :

Hi XXX, the fact that a reference was refused, or it did not match what was agreed would be a breach of the CA. If you contact the Chair of Governors and mention the CA, even though the employer has already breached it and it could allow you to also disregard the restrictions you had under it, it does mean that the whole CA could be considered void and the employer can seek the repayment of any money paid under it, although at the same time you would also be entitled to make any claims against them for breach of contract. I would hope this is not something that would actually happen but if you can try not to mention it at first.

Customer: Hi Ben,
Customer: the reference he sent was the agreed reference! It was his refusal to confirm the agreed reference that he sent! That led to the job offer
Customer: Being withdrawn.
Ben Jones :

Why would he have to confirm that reference, what was the process, as usually once you send the reference that is it - did they have to contact him to ask him if he had sent that reference?

Customer: I thought that would be quite common to confirm references especially being a school.
Ben Jones :

it can happen but not always, it is not necessarily common practice, many employers can just issue a reference on headed paper or by filling out a form supplied by the new employer and that would be sufficient but you can argue that this amounted to a failure of the overall reference process and still be a breach of contract

Customer: Ok, thanks.
Ben Jones :

you are welcome

Customer: Im really concerned that I have googled and found my first email to you. This sight says that names do not appear in searches! I've just found the full content of my letter including my full name, work place, etc!!!
Customer: how can I get these personal details removed??
Ben Jones :

Hi as per the terms of the site this is a public forum so everything you type in the actual question is visible but not your personal account info. It seems that as you put your name in the actual question then that would be visible. I will submit a request to customer services to remove that

Customer: Thanks
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience: Qualified Solicitor
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