References

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by markjay, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    An employee was sacked due to Gross Misconduct, which he did not challenge (not yet, anyway).

    He was told he will get no References. Which I would have thought would be a good outcome as far as he was concerned, because that meant that the reason for his dismissal will remain confidential.

    He is now saying that following legal advise he has the right to get References from his employer, and threatens legal action.

    Not sure what should happen next - if he is given References then surely the circumstances around his dismissal will come to light - employers can be not expected to lie? I find it odd, perhaps he received bad advise?

    Any ideas how to deal with such a situation?
     
  2. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Give a factual reference. So and so was employed from when to when. State position and give sick record. Leave it at that. You are not obliged to write any more. Most prospective employers will suss it immediately and you have played an absolutely straight bat.

    Invoice in post:D
     
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  3. Giantvanman

    Giantvanman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    ^^^Like he says……..my wife did lots of hiring and a bit of firing and this is exactly how to play it, she says.

    Apparently this type of reference has become unwritten but widely used 'code' for 'there were issues' etc and this situation came about when employers were no longer able to give bad references.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  4. Ted

    Ted Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I gave the following reference once

    "During his time with XXXXXXX Derek was a competent engineer"

    That was it. No idea if he got the job, but I hoped it got the message across.
     
  5. del320

    del320 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    ^^ +2

    Precisely as per IanA2 - the bald statement of fact says it all.
     
  6. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Including the word competent was gilding the lilly unnecessarily :D:D
     
  7. Benzowner

    Benzowner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As an ex employer, I was not allowed to give a bad reference, why, I do not know, but most employers ask in their reference if you would reemploy the person, and a no answer usually gives the game away :D
     
  8. theogeor

    theogeor Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You have to provide a reference but as others said keep it factual and include only the following
    1. Period of employment
    2. Job Title(s)
    3. Roles and responsibilities

    You are not obliged to providing anything else. Just the basic facts..

    Theo
     
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  9. Doodle

    Doodle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    https://www.gov.uk/work-reference

    An employer doesn’t usually have to give a work reference - but if they do, it must be fair and accurate. Workers may be able to challenge a reference they think is unfair or misleading.

    Employers must give a reference if:
    • there was a written agreement to do so
    • they’re in a regulated industry, eg financial services

    If they give a reference it:
    • must be fair and accurate - and can include details about workers’ performance and if they were sacked
    • can be brief - eg job title, salary and when the worker was employed


    Later -

    Workers may also be able to claim damages from a court if:
    • the employment contract says they must be given a reference, but the employer refuses to


    Seems pretty clear to me.
     
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  10. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's not that you can't give bad references. It just that in these litigious days it's easier/better not to.

    In some public sector organisations it's been policy for some time to give factual (ie not qualitative or opinion based) references.

    That said, the "our ref" bit might start with CM. So in my case the ref might be CM/IA2/PE with PE being the PA's initials. ;)
     
  11. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The problem with refusing a reference is that litigious types will have you in court before you can say Rumpole of the Bailey. It's easier to give a succinct factual reference. Keeps the waters smooth.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Thank you all for your helpful posts.

    Let's say the ex-employee is told that it is his choice whether he gets References or not, but if he does chose to get them, then they will include all relevant information?

    Also, 'must be fair and accurate' - fair to whom - to the ex-employee, to the next employer, or to both?

    My instinct is that in this case the best resolution for everyone is to give no References at all - giving full References will not be to the ex-employee's advantage, while giving 'factual' References omitting the Gross Misconduct incident will be misleading?
     
  13. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That's why a factual reference plus CM works so well.
     
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  14. Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As others have said, a references legal minimum is very little. In the UK, anyone getting a reference of the legal minimum is code for "there are issues".

    The problem I've seen is certain international organizations (particularly American and German), have a template reference document (with the legal minimum), and refuse to issue anything else. This often gets mis-interpreted by british companies...

    M.
     
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  15. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    In certain areas in the public sector, particularly in London, this is pretty much the practice.
     
  16. Doodle

    Doodle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    By the very definition, all parties concerned. Otherwise it would be contradictory, surely.
     
  17. A-AvantGarde

    A-AvantGarde Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've always known it to be like this too (certainly in large corporations). I've had a number of HR Directors say that this is the only way that they can give references. I guess it's different with SME's
     
  18. knighterrant

    knighterrant Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Had a variation on this question recently when my wife was asked to provide a reference by an ex employee of hers in a business she sold over six years ago. The employee had actually resigned a couple of years before my wife sold the business (hairdressing salon) to set up in competition less than 100 yards away! I suppose she thought my wife was a soft touch because she didn't take her to court for breach of contract. But asking for a reference was pushing it. She didn't get one and was very upset, despite my wife telling her that she'd have to be totally honest if approached for information by a prospective employer.

    There has been mention here of a legal requirement to provide a reference. I've not heard of this before. How can this be enforced if the person requesting the reference is no longer an employee and/or the business owners have changed? I've never seen this in any contract - is it something in employment law and is there no time limit?
     
  19. DSM10000

    DSM10000 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Or use the famous line

    "You will be lucky to get this person to work fo you"

    :)
     
  20. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    ".....is forthright and has a clear view of the world". That always gets my alarm bells ringing. :eek:
     
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