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Bad reference - job offer withdrawn
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# 1
butdoineedit?
Old 22-03-2011, 8:29 PM
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Default Bad reference - job offer withdrawn

Wondered if anyone could help with this.

1 year ago i left my job at the time to take up a new position & was given a positive reference by that employer (i figure it had to be at least acceptable as i was taken on by the new company - although i wasn't aware of any problems).
Since then my dream job came up, i applied & was offered the job pending references. Reference from my current employer was fine, the new company also required reference from my previous employer, which i couldn't see being a problem, due to the fact that i had already had a reference that was fine.

2 months of chasing later, i get a phone call from the potential new job to inform me that the job offer was being withdrawn due to the reference from my previous employer not being satisfactory.

I can't work out why, surely if there was a problem i should never have been able to leave in the first place?

My question is, can they do this, change their minds about my employability after i have left?
I know the previous time they wrote the reference my line manager completed it, this time it has been done by the HR department (i use that term loosely, they employ a freelance HR consultant who started in her role a couple of months before i left & so has no knowledge of my working practise)

I plan to ring the union first thing in the morning, but do i have any comeback? & is there any way i can get the potential new employer to hold off offering the position to someone else until i have investigated further?

I have no details of what was written on the reference as i was told that i had to wait for the HR place where the job offer was withdrawn to write to me before i can ask any further questions.

Thanks for your help!
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# 2
bristol_pilot
Old 22-03-2011, 8:41 PM
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It may be that your old employer has adopted a policy of refusing to give a reference or limits the reference to a statement of the bare facts such as the dates you were employed and your job title. The new employer may find this 'unsatisfactory'. You really need to find out what was in the reference, I believe you can force disclosure if necessary - your union can advise you how.
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# 3
MrsManda
Old 22-03-2011, 8:41 PM
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You need to know what was in the reference before you can have any comeback though providing that the reference is factual there's nothing you can do about it.

The best thing to do is to speak to the HR department of the potential new employer and ask what it was in the reference which was unsatisfactory. It could be that it just gives a basic reference of the dates of employment and your job title and the employer has decided that it's not suitable.
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# 4
butdoineedit?
Old 22-03-2011, 8:50 PM
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My potential new boss stated today when she rang to tell me that the offer was withdrawn that she had a long chat with the former employers HR, so i know it wasn't lack of information that caused the problem.
I dis ask for contact details to discuss with HR, but was told they couldn't provide them & i had to wait for the letter, which worries me, as i don't know how long it will take to arrive.

Problem is i never had any disputes at this previous job, so can't begin to imagine what was so bad & factual that didn't need to be disclosed last time.

Guess i knew there would be no quick answers, but didn't stop me hoping!!!
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Last edited by butdoineedit?; 22-03-2011 at 10:25 PM.
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# 5
BodyElectric
Old 22-03-2011, 10:30 PM
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You need to request a copy of the reference from what was to be the new employer; if they decline you must send them a Subject Access Request for the same, this constitutes a legal request and they cannot refuse to comply. You can also request any notes made following the phone conversation.

Find out what it says and then I suggest come back here for more advice.


Last edited by BodyElectric; 22-03-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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# 6
Unstoppableguy
Old 07-12-2011, 7:50 PM
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Hi All,

I am pleased to read the above information as this has JUST happened to me! I am so upset and shocked.

The thing is I left my job in June 2011 on contructive dismissal grounds. However, during my notice period my (nasty) employer decided to dismiss me ONE day before my notice period ran out, can't tell you how malicious I felt they had been to me. I am going to emplyment tribunal also, but a couple of months later I got offered another job subject to satisfactory references...by the time (2 months later) my ex-employer wrote back to my prospective new employer they had given me a very bad reference. I have not seen it yet but have asked to see it under the Data Protection Act. If this doesn't work, I will use the template letter 'Subject Access Request ' as mentioned above.

The thing is I have been signing on for a while now and was expecting to start this job anyday, and now I will have no money coming in and I have a mortgage to pay with no insurance to cover me... I only have a bit of savings left.. I will include this in my tribunal claim but I think it is extrmely harsh to be given a bad reference cause it now means everytime I get offered a job my ex-employer will give me a bad reference and the same thing would happen! How is that right? Well, needless to say I will not be putting them down as a referee anymore but because of them my livelihood has now been destroyed...

Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone.
George
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# 7
Emmzi
Old 07-12-2011, 7:53 PM
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1. there is no such thing as leaving on "constructive dismissal grounds." An ET will decide if it was CD but there must have been a reason given at the time.

2. The reference has to be factual. This can include "was dismissed" if that is true.
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# 8
Uncertain
Old 08-07-2012, 8:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissSarah1972 View Post
Sorry this is a wind up, isn't it?

What were you doing in your bosses house and why did you not get the police involved?
There is a separate thread on this matter.
PLEASE NOTE:

I limit myself to responding to threads where I feel I have enough knowledge to make a useful contribution. My advice (and indeed any advice on this type of forum) should only be seen as a pointer to something you may wish to investigate further. Never act on any forum advice without confirmation from an accountable source.
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# 9
Uncertain
Old 08-07-2012, 8:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unstoppableguy View Post
Hi All,

I am pleased to read the above information as this has JUST happened to me! I am so upset and shocked.

The thing is I left my job in June 2011 on contructive dismissal grounds. However, during my notice period my (nasty) employer decided to dismiss me ONE day before my notice period ran out, can't tell you how malicious I felt they had been to me. I am going to emplyment tribunal also, but a couple of months later I got offered another job subject to satisfactory references...by the time (2 months later) my ex-employer wrote back to my prospective new employer they had given me a very bad reference. I have not seen it yet but have asked to see it under the Data Protection Act. If this doesn't work, I will use the template letter 'Subject Access Request ' as mentioned above.

The thing is I have been signing on for a while now and was expecting to start this job anyday, and now I will have no money coming in and I have a mortgage to pay with no insurance to cover me... I only have a bit of savings left.. I will include this in my tribunal claim but I think it is extrmely harsh to be given a bad reference cause it now means everytime I get offered a job my ex-employer will give me a bad reference and the same thing would happen! How is that right? Well, needless to say I will not be putting them down as a referee anymore but because of them my livelihood has now been destroyed...

Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone.
George
It would be best to start (or ask for this to be moved to) a separate thread.

You only have three months from the date of leaving in which to file an ET claim.

If the reference was provably untrue or deliberately misleading then you MAY have a court claim for defamation (time limit six years). However this can be costly and difficult as so much can be argued to be opinion. You need to get a copy then seek further advice.
PLEASE NOTE:

I limit myself to responding to threads where I feel I have enough knowledge to make a useful contribution. My advice (and indeed any advice on this type of forum) should only be seen as a pointer to something you may wish to investigate further. Never act on any forum advice without confirmation from an accountable source.
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# 10
FBaby
Old 08-07-2012, 7:10 PM
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Could it have anything to do with sickness absence? Either that your new employer has tighter rules around time off sick than your previous one, or your line manager had a memory lapse whereas HR has the actual days on file?
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# 11
anamenottaken
Old 08-07-2012, 7:56 PM
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Please note this is a resurrected thread. The OP and the subsequent poster seeking help in March and December 2011.
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# 12
Zoe Price
Old 11-07-2012, 1:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butdoineedit? View Post
I know the previous time they wrote the reference my line manager completed it, this time it has been done by the HR department (i use that term loosely, they employ a freelance HR consultant who started in her role a couple of months before i left & so has no knowledge of my working practise)
I have a similar problem. I recently finished working at a college but was contracted by an agency to work there. When I asked my department boss if I could use her as a reference she told me she could only be a character reference and I'd have to seek a employment reference from my agency. I've never met anyone from my agency and they've never seen me work, so what good is a reference from them??
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# 13
dseventy
Old 11-07-2012, 1:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe Price View Post
I have a similar problem. I recently finished working at a college but was contracted by an agency to work there. When I asked my department boss if I could use her as a reference she told me she could only be a character reference and I'd have to seek a employment reference from my agency. I've never met anyone from my agency and they've never seen me work, so what good is a reference from them??
The agency is your employer, not the college, hence you need to ask them.

They might approach the college on your behalf or just confirm dates, attendance record etc.

D70
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