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Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6428
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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My partner has received an overtly negative reference from

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My partner has received an overtly negative reference from a current employer (Academy school) that contains a number of untruths, as well as a very negative slant on every answer that make it very unlikely she would be offered any job. she has already been refused two positions on recent similar negative references from the same person, but they didn't contain any factually incorrect information. This current one does. These include;
-a claim that there is an ongoing investigation by an exam board, which was actually concluded months before this reference was requested and no breach of guidelines was found (letter from exam board to support this)
- that there have been four period of sick leave when there have been two (4.5 days total for year) and two additional half days which were unpaid taken to collect a sick child from nursery.
-that my partner is not performing at the Upper Pay Scale level, when this has never been raised and her most recent staff review recommends she advances on the pay scale due to her outstanding work(copy of review outcome to support this)
- that she receives outstanding assessments from Ofsted and academy inspections but only performs well when being assessed (how would anyone know about when she is not being assessed?)
- that she does not get on well with colleagues and is not a team player, when all of her colleagues are friends, several of whom who she socialises with outside school.
Is this libel or defamation (negligent or malicious) if the most overtly negative statements can be shown to be untrue and what are the precendents for bringing such a case?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Libel and slander laws do not cover this situation as it is a pre-requisite that the statement which is untrue, whether written or verbal, be publically made and a response to a reference request is not a public statement.
The correct law for dealing with this is negligent misstatement. If your partner suffers a financial loss as a result of this through not getting the job due to the unfair reference request then a claim can be brought through the county court.
I would recommend a letter before action being sent to the school to say that you believe that this inaccurate reference amounts to negligent misstatement and if this is not corrected and/ or she suffers a loss then you will take action.
It may be worth contacting a local litigation solicitor for assistance with this.
If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
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