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  • FIRST POST
    • CYPER
    • By CYPER 15th Apr 19, 8:16 PM
    • 218Posts
    • 29Thanks
    CYPER
    False work reference and possible redress
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:16 PM
    False work reference and possible redress 15th Apr 19 at 8:16 PM
    Hi all,

    A friend of mine received a reference, which contains false information, so it is not a true, accurate and fair reflection of her employment.

    I have 2 questions:

    1 - Is ACAS>Employment Tribunal the right way for redress?
    2 - Do you need to have subsequent job opportunities negativelly affected by said reference in order to have a valid claim?

    Thank you.
Page 1
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 15th Apr 19, 8:58 PM
    • 4,336 Posts
    • 11,529 Thanks
    LilElvis
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:58 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:58 PM
    Hi all,

    A friend of mine received a reference, which contains false information, so it is not a true, accurate and fair reflection of her employment.

    I have 2 questions:

    1 - Is ACAS>Employment Tribunal the right way for redress?
    2 - Do you need to have subsequent job opportunities negativelly affected by said reference in order to have a valid claim?

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by CYPER
    In what way is the reference "false"? Some aspects of a reference can be entirely subjective.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 15th Apr 19, 9:37 PM
    • 3,566 Posts
    • 1,891 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 19, 9:37 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 19, 9:37 PM
    Let me know when you work it out.

    A company who will have had nearly 10 years history didn't even do me the decency of explaining - meant to start work today but found myself walking around my home town with no idea what is going on. No reasoning p!/ss all so I can only be jealous of people who get answers.

    #Who can I sue.
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • Dox
    • By Dox 15th Apr 19, 10:06 PM
    • 1,374 Posts
    • 1,028 Thanks
    Dox
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 19, 10:06 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 19, 10:06 PM
    If the facts are wrong (e.g. dates of employment), then why doesn't she just correct it by contacting her (presumably former) employer?

    Even if the issues aren't factual, she should start by contacting the employer - but if they believe what they said to be true, there isn't much she can do.
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 16th Apr 19, 5:04 AM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 3,949 Thanks
    BoGoF
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 5:04 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 5:04 AM
    Most references are very generic these days for fear of legal action so I would be surprised if anything 'false' was put in black and white.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 16th Apr 19, 7:39 AM
    • 6,389 Posts
    • 7,094 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:39 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:39 AM
    Hi all,

    A friend of mine received a reference, which contains false information, so it is not a true, accurate and fair reflection of her employment.

    I have 2 questions:

    1 - Is ACAS>Employment Tribunal the right way for redress?
    2 - Do you need to have subsequent job opportunities negativelly affected by said reference in order to have a valid claim?

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by CYPER

    Without knowing the nature of the 'false information' it's impossible to give an answer. As others have said, some aspects can be subjective. For example, somebody turning up late for work 3 or 4 times, even if just by a couple of minutes, may be interpreted as poor attendance by the employer, but as trivial by the staff member.
    • Exodi
    • By Exodi 16th Apr 19, 7:58 AM
    • 621 Posts
    • 797 Thanks
    Exodi
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:58 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:58 AM
    Hi all,

    A friend of mine received a reference, which contains false information, so it is not a true, accurate and fair reflection of her employment.

    I have 2 questions:

    1 - Is ACAS>Employment Tribunal the right way for redress?
    2 - Do you need to have subsequent job opportunities negativelly affected by said reference in order to have a valid claim?

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by CYPER
    So I may be nitpicking however you say your friend received the reference as opposed to the prospective employer? I only mention this as you seem to indicate they know the specifics of the reference as opposed to failing reference checks due to an 'unsatisfactory reference'. Have they requested a copy of the reference after a withdrawn employment offer?

    What 'false information' has been provided? Is this information subjective or objective?

    Your wording would show you've checked ACAS's stance on this so I wonder the reason for querying this with MSE?

    In the event that a job applicant is unhappy with a reference provided about them they can request, usually in writing, a copy of any reference sent to a new employer. The request would be made to the author of the reference.

    If an external job applicant believes a reference provided for them was inappropriate they may be able to claim damages in a court, but the job applicant must be able to show that the information was misleading or inaccurate and that they have suffered a loss such as withdrawal of a job offer.
    by http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5072
    Know what you don't
    • CYPER
    • By CYPER 16th Apr 19, 8:58 AM
    • 218 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    CYPER
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:58 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:58 AM
    So I may be nitpicking however you say your friend received the reference as opposed to the prospective employer? I only mention this as you seem to indicate they know the specifics of the reference as opposed to failing reference checks due to an 'unsatisfactory reference'. Have they requested a copy of the reference after a withdrawn employment offer?

    What 'false information' has been provided? Is this information subjective or objective?

    Your wording would show you've checked ACAS's stance on this so I wonder the reason for querying this with MSE?
    Originally posted by Exodi
    Her current employer requested it and received it from her former employer.
    My friend got it from her current employer.

    I don't need a validation if the reference is false, so let's just not go down this route. Assume it is.

    The information is objective and can be easily proven false.

    We have been in contact with the manager, who wrote it and any further contact is futile. My next step is contacting HR, but I want to know if ACAS/Employment Tribunal or the Courts is the step after HR if we decide to go there.

    And the requirement to have actually suffered a loss by losing future employment prospects is a tough one, because what employer is going to admit in writing that the reason they didn't hire someone is because of the reference received.

    This is my personal opinion, but the manager who wrote it:
    has very poor management skills
    his english language is very poor, which is reflected in the reference (full of all sorts of mistakes) and this has been clearly noted by the current employer.
    is probably not fully aware that writing a false reference has consequences
    reason for false reference are personal
    Last edited by CYPER; 16-04-2019 at 9:05 AM.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 16th Apr 19, 9:03 AM
    • 2,319 Posts
    • 3,638 Thanks
    shortcrust
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:03 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:03 AM
    Her current employer requested it and received it from her former employer.
    My friend got it from her current employer.

    I don't need a validation if the reference is false, so let's just not go down this route. Assume it is.

    The information is objective and can be easily proven false.

    We have been in contact with the manager, who wrote it and any further contact is futile. My next step is contacting HR, but I want to know if ACAS/Employment Tribunal or the Courts is the step after HR if we decide to go there.

    And the requirement to have actually suffered a loss by losing future employment prospects is a tough one, because what employer is going to admit in writing that the reason they didn't hire someone is because of the reference received.
    Originally posted by CYPER
    Maybe you don't, but we need to understand the nature of the 'false' information before we can help you.
    • SaucySecrets
    • By SaucySecrets 16th Apr 19, 9:10 AM
    • 2,195 Posts
    • 3,972 Thanks
    SaucySecrets
    It's quite common for employers to provide a reason for a job offers being withdrawn due to unsatisfactory references. It's probably the most common reason for people being rejected once they've been offered a job.

    Generally, the next steps do depend on what aspect of the reference is incorrect. If it is discriminatory, in a legal sense, then usually an employment tribunal would be the next step. If it is not, and it is deliberately false than you could sue them for losses. You would want legal advice from a solicitor well versed in employment law, who would be able to give you the appropriate next steps. They would usually include providing written opportunities for the company responsible to correct the reference, and then the legal path for whichever course is more appropriate.

    Do be mindful that success in legal challenges to incorrect references very much depends on what exactly was wrong with the reference.

    As always, this isn't legal advice and you'd want to seek your own qualified advice before proceeding so you can get a proper look at your chances of success and probable costs.
    Signature down for maintenance
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 16th Apr 19, 9:23 AM
    • 4,336 Posts
    • 11,529 Thanks
    LilElvis
    Her current employer requested it and received it from her former employer.
    My friend got it from her current employer.

    I don't need a validation if the reference is false, so let's just not go down this route. Assume it is.

    The information is objective and can be easily proven false.

    We have been in contact with the manager, who wrote it and any further contact is futile. My next step is contacting HR, but I want to know if ACAS/Employment Tribunal or the Courts is the step after HR if we decide to go there.

    And the requirement to have actually suffered a loss by losing future employment prospects is a tough one, because what employer is going to admit in writing that the reason they didn't hire someone is because of the reference received.

    This is my personal opinion, but the manager who wrote it:
    has very poor management skills
    his english language is very poor, which is reflected in the reference (full of all sorts of mistakes) and this has been clearly noted by the current employer.
    is probably not fully aware that writing a false reference has consequences
    reason for false reference are personal
    Originally posted by CYPER
    As you have referred to your friend's "current employer" three times then can we assume that she did get the job, despite the reference? In which case what redress is she actually seeking? She could contact HR at her former employment and point out that supplying factually incorrect references can have consequences and that she is putting them on notice that she may be forced to take matters further should they issue such a reference again.

    I'm guessing from the tone of your last paragraph that what she/you actually want is to get her former manager in as much trouble as possible with his employer.
    • CYPER
    • By CYPER 16th Apr 19, 9:37 AM
    • 218 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    CYPER
    As you have referred to your friend's "current employer" three times then can we assume that she did get the job, despite the reference? In which case what redress is she actually seeking? She could contact HR at her former employment and point out that supplying factually incorrect references can have consequences and that she is putting them on notice that she may be forced to take matters further should they issue such a reference again.

    I'm guessing from the tone of your last paragraph that what she/you actually want is to get her former manager in as much trouble as possible with his employer.
    Originally posted by LilElvis
    She did get the job first and the reference came more than a month after that, because the former manager either ignored or forgot to reply to the requests from the current manager.

    She strongly believes that the way the reference was written was based on the fact that she left her job in a very inconvenient time for the management + the manager expected a 1 month notice, but the written employment contract clearly says 2 weeks and so said manager had to cancel his holiday because of that. But contractual notice was given.

    My friend would just like to get a factual reference, that truly reflects her employment and doesn't really care what happens with said manager.
    I am currently her "legal" help as I have been through the whole Employment Tribunal process myself all the way to the 1st day of hearings, but would rather resolve this at HR level, than going down the same route again.
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 16th Apr 19, 9:56 AM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 3,949 Thanks
    BoGoF
    For the avoidance of doubt then....is your friend still in the new job or not?
    • CYPER
    • By CYPER 16th Apr 19, 10:04 AM
    • 218 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    CYPER
    For the avoidance of doubt then....is your friend still in the new job or not?
    Originally posted by BoGoF
    She is and will be quitting in about 1 month for personal reasons.
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 16th Apr 19, 10:10 AM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 3,949 Thanks
    BoGoF
    So what redress does she want then? The reference didn't cost them the job.

    As you won't say what the reference said it's difficult to say anymore. However if it was along the lines of she resigned and left the company in the lurch, there seems an element of truth on that regardless of her 2 week notice period.
    • Exodi
    • By Exodi 16th Apr 19, 10:18 AM
    • 621 Posts
    • 797 Thanks
    Exodi
    Eurgh what a waste of time.

    So ideally you'd like the ex-manager put in the stocks in the local village so passers-by can pelt them with rotten tomatoes?
    Know what you don't
    • CYPER
    • By CYPER 16th Apr 19, 10:22 AM
    • 218 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    CYPER
    So what redress does she want then? The reference didn't cost them the job.

    As you won't say what the reference said it's difficult to say anymore. However if it was along the lines of she resigned and left the company in the lurch, there seems an element of truth on that regardless of her 2 week notice period.
    Originally posted by BoGoF
    Hence my original question: Do you need to have subsequent job opportunities negatively affected by said reference in order to have a valid claim?

    It sounds like just giving a false reference in itself is not an issue, unless you have been negatively affected by it?

    The false elements of the reference are disciplinary actions which never occurred + performance issues which were never communicated to her + other bits too.
    • CYPER
    • By CYPER 16th Apr 19, 10:24 AM
    • 218 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    CYPER
    Eurgh what a waste of time.

    So ideally you'd like the ex-manager put in the stocks in the local village so passers-by can pelt them with rotten tomatoes?
    Originally posted by Exodi
    Why are you wasting your time in this thread then?
    If you felt forced to read it I can only apologize.
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 16th Apr 19, 10:47 AM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 3,949 Thanks
    BoGoF
    I don't see any merits in ACAS or ET. Not to say there are no grounds for complaint if your friend believes they have been libelled.....would need to seek legal advice on that.

    Personally I would be contacting the former employer HR department highlighting the false information in the reference given by the manager and wanting reassurances that any future reference would be accurate otherwise you will commence legal action.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 16th Apr 19, 11:01 AM
    • 35,869 Posts
    • 21,978 Thanks
    getmore4less
    She did get the job first and the reference came more than a month after that, because the former manager either ignored or forgot to reply to the requests from the current manager.
    .......
    Originally posted by CYPER
    Why do people do this?

    If the job offer is conditional on references you wait till they have been obtained and the job offer is no longer conditional then you resign and arrange a start date.
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