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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50165
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I took voluntary severance from a Local Authority eight months

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I took voluntary severance from a Local Authority eight months ago. I am 47. I had a lawyer consider the terms and she was happy. My issue now is references. The LA I left only give a basic reference that doesn't cover the complexity of work capability new employers are looking for. My old managers have left and the most recent that I know how to contact stopped managing me in 2012. Current prospective employer (LA) is looking to have a reference that covers the gap. I can provide excellent character references. I have been interviewed jobs been offered both subject to satisfactory references yet the LA reference becomes a stumbling block and the job fails to materialise. Any suggestions/advice?
Ben Jones : , my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you discussed the situation with the new employer to see if there are any alternatives?

Yes. The HR Dept of the LA states there needs to be a period covered of three years. I have provided a very good character reference from a National Inspection Agency who worked closely with me in my previous job. I also have a reference from a colleague on the Senior Management group who covered all the competencies but as yet this hasn't been successful. I am concerned that the LA thinks there is more to this Voluntary Severance than meets the eye.

Ben Jones :

Apologies slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier on. All seems to be resolved now so I can continue. I wanted to ask, in your opinion, who could cover this gap, who do you think can provide a reference that the LA will be happy with?


If they want my last manager I'm afraid he retired and I don't know where he lives to contact him - he actually left very suddenly. I have the previous Head of Service who managed me prior to her early retirement but she stopped managing me at the end of 2012 - she would give a reference. I have a nationally known academic who can offer a character reference but this is not from my previous organisation. There was a new manager who was in post couple of weeks prior to me leaving but I doubt he would provide a reference as he barely knew me. I have an ex colleague who resigned from the organisation about the time of my leaving who has offered a reference. She worked on the Senior Management group with me but was not my manager. I am waiting to find out if this is adequate new organisations Hr policies. There was a lot of movement around the time of me applying severance. My opinion would be that there was a great deal of toxicity within the Senior Management Group. I was going to take out a grievance against the Senior Manager (I was not the only one) but when the option of Voluntary Severance came up I applied. My severance agreement prevents me talking about this situation hence I suspect LA's interested in appointing me speculate there is more to my situation than meets the eye - or I have become paranoid.

Ben Jones :

There may not actually be a legal answer to your query. The new employer can request a specific level of referencing and be specific about how much detail they require from your old employer. At the same time the old employer is not obliged to provide any references at all (unless there was a specific agreement about this in the severance you agreed with them and the wording or level of referencing was agreed as part of the settlement). If they do provide references then it is up to them to decide how detailed these should be and they do not have to match the requirements set out by the new employer. You could potentially end up not getting a job because the new employer is not satisfied with the references they have received, or it may be that they have not received anything at all. So in these circumstances you will have to work with what you have I’m afraid. You will have to discuss the situation with the new employer and explain why you may not be able to get the required references and see if they would accept a compromise. If it is not possible to get a reference that you need and there is simply no option to get it, then I am afraid legally you cannot do anything about it and will have to hope that the new employer will consider the situation and perhaps forego the need specific reference. But you cannot force them to do that.

Can I clarify anything else n relation to this?


No but thank you .

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

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