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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50165
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My son {21} worked coffee months zero hour

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hi my son {21} worked for costa coffee for 6 months zero hour contract,left because he no longer felt days offered suited him,was offered another job 2 weeks ago in a restaurant and has received a bad reference from previous place of employment,i have been to see the old employer to ask why she had given a bad reference as we felt it was misguided and she said that daniel had lied to her on 1 occasion getting a saturday off to baby sit for his sister when in fact he had gone out with his friends,i did point out i did not think that good reason to give a bad reference,any ideas the costa coffee is a franchise and she unwilling to give owner name and address as i would like to write to him.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What did they state in the reference which was untrue?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

they will not tell us what they said exactly, but the restaurant where daniel applied for the new job said it was not a good reference,i have been to see the lady today who gave the "bad" reference,she did admit she called daniel a liar in her phone reference as he has while in her employment ask for a change of shifts to allow him to baby sit his sibling when i think he went out with friends instead and some other staff at the restaurant apparently told her this so hence she called him a liar in the phone reference,i do not think she should have labelled him like this for 1 incident and given the fact she was only his manager for about 9 weeks as the other lady had left.


Whilst there is no legal obligation on employers to provide a reference for past employees, if they choose to do so they will automatically owe them 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 based on facts, rather than just personal opinion. Certain principles have been established through case law over the years and the main points can be summarised as follows: 1. In the case of Bartholomew v London Borough of Hackney the employer provided a reference which contained details of disciplinary proceedings which were pending at the time the employee left. The court decided that the employer had not breached its duty of care by providing such a reference as it would have a duty to provide a reference that is true, accurate and fair and does not present facts so as to give a misleading impression overall. Therefore, if the employer had not included details of the disciplinary proceedings it would have failed in its duty to the prospective employer to provide a reference that was not unfair or misleading. 2. In the later 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 an investigation and had reasonable grounds for believing that the misconduct had taken place. This can be applied to other matters forming part of a reference, not just issues of misconduct. So if it is obvious that incorrect facts have been relied on, the contents are false or misleading, there may be a potential case for negligence against the employer and this matter could be taken further by seeking compensation in the county court for any damages caused. Before you consider legal action you would be best advised to approach the company and try to negotiate some sort of settlement with them or at least for them to retract the reference and contact the company they sent it to in order to clarify that. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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