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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73924
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I raised a grievance with a former e, In leeds West

Customer Question

I raised a grievance with a former e
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: In leeds West Yorkshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I attended the grievance meeting and raised my concern regarding breach of confidentiality
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I reminded my former employer at the grievance meeting that my reference was still not completed fora new job that I had been offered. The reference was sent to the new employer and my job offer was retracted.
Submitted: 19 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

What specifically would you like to ask about this please?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I was informed by the new employer that I had been referred to external agencies, when I contacted my old employer about this they stated the the response was standard and included only start and end dates and job role. This reference was only completed after the grievance meeting which struck me as a huge coincidence as my grievance was against a manager. I was told at the grievance meeting that they would conclude the process and I would be contacted in 28 days, the 28 days expired yesterday and I have had no communication from them. I am aware that has only been a day but I feel that there was malice in the reference due to raising the grievance.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Do you know exactly what the reference said?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I was told I was referred to external agencies and this was denied, when I asked for details they were denied due to confidentiality
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Please explain this further; what external agencies are they referring to?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I assume that it would be safeguarding due to a resident who had developed a wound
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I can not afford the money for a callas I am awaiting a claim for universal credit
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

The phone call request is automatically generated by the site. Please could you explain the safeguarding situation in a bit more detail.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
A resident developed a wound that appeared infected, I contacted her GP and received treatment but through out the afternoon was busy admitting a new resident and failed to record details in the care plan and complete an accident form. On my return after 3days off I was suspended and received a n invite to disciplinary during my suspension. I choose to resign as I had been suffering from extra stress in my home life and had felt a change in role with less responsibility and nearer to home would be beneficial to my family. I resigned before the disciplinary meeting and raised my concerns regarding breach of confidentiality during my exit interview
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

OK I understand. Thank you. So what specifically would you like to ask about the situation with your new employer?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I have accepted the withdrawal of employment but I feel my d emoyer is making it difficult for me. As I have had one offer of employment withdrew I am scared of this continuing. I had hoped that the end of the grievance would help but I'm concerned that this may continue and after working from a care assistant up to becoming a unit manager my career in care is no longer acceptable. What should I do regarding the grievance I raised?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Thank you. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; 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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

If your employer is making life difficult for you by not issuing a reference, or mentioning the issues you experienced whilst working there, they are not actually doing anything illegal.

In general, there is no legal obligation on employers to provide a reference for ex-employees, unless it was a contractual obligation for them to do so or it is for a specific financial services jobs which perform ‘controlled functions’.

If an employer agrees to issue a reference, they will automatically owe the ex-employee a duty to take reasonable care in its preparation. This requires the employer to be fair with the contents of the reference and ensure it is true and accurate and does not provide a misleading impression. They should avoid making speculative comments, such as how good/bad or suitable/not suitable a person would be for a future role.

Certain principles have been established through case law when assessing the duty of care owed by the employer. The main ones are as follows:

1. The general 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. It sets the general expectation in a reference and subjects it to the ‘reasonableness test’.

2. In the case of Bartholomew v London Borough of Hackney the employer provided a reference which contained details of disciplinary proceedings 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.

So what they are doing may be seen as unethical but not unlawful and it is the legal side of things that you can only pursue them for. As to the grievance, there is little that can be done about it now because you are no longer employed by them and you no longer have a right to any grievance process or to do anything about a grievance already raised. You can always tell them you are withdrawing your complaint in the hope that changes things but there is no guarantee it will unfortunately.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.