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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 63344
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I had a job offer withdrawn because of incorrect feedback

Customer Question

I had a job offer withdrawn because of incorrect feedback given from a previous manager to my new manager. They both work for the same company and I’ve been told that I’m unable to do anything under employment law. Can I pursue this as a civil case against the manager that gave the bad feedback? He claimed that he terminated my contract on the grounds of poor performance however I had handed my notice in and left. I have evidence for copies of emails received via SAR requests. My new manager didn’t bring this to me. I had served my notice on my previous job. I’m now completely broke as I don’t have any income
Assistant: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: The company will not speak to me. I was an external applicant. I’ve spoken to employment law solicitors but I cannot pursue it through employment law as the company can do what they want. I want to know whether I can pursue it through civil court against the individual that provided the incorrect feedback
Assistant: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I was going into a permanent position
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that’s all
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. Firstly, I need to ask some initial questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Has your former manager provided any reason at all for giving this reference?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

also, how long had you worked in your previous role for?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
My previous role was a 12 month temporary contract. I accepted the role however it was what I expected so handed my notice in after 3 month. I broke the contract and let him down so I feel that because I let him down, he gave the bad feedback. I did good work whilst there and not criticism was given. The new role was a permanent contract so would have been completely different
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Ok so you would have to pursue the manager who gave the incorrect feedback as the new employer has simply relied on that feedback and cannot be blamed for just going on the information they have.


If an employer decides to issue a reference or feedback, they will automatically owe the subject 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 true, accurate and fair and does not provide a misleading impression.


Certain principles have been established through case law over the years when assessing the duty of care owed by the employer, as follows:


The main test is from the case of Lawton v BOC Transhield, which requires a court to ask whether a reasonably prudent employer would have expressed the opinions which were stated in that particular reference and to ensure the accuracy of the facts upon which any opinion expressed in the reference was based.


So if it is obvious that incorrect facts have been relied on or the contents are false or misleading, the employee could consider taking the matter further.


There are various options available for taking this further all of which would be pursued in the civil courts and would generally seek compensation:

· Defamation – if the reference tends to lower the subject’s reputation in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally. However, such claims are rather complex and expensive and are not usually the best option

· Malicious falsehood - if the reference contains untrue words that were published maliciously, so a situation where the employer knew the contents were untrue and published them anyway

· Negligent misstatement – simple negligence where the employer has failed to do their homework and has included inaccurate facts without checking their validity first.


Does this answer your query?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you