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Bad reference after being offered position.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by suertesamp, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    Today I recieved a call from the HR department of a school I have been offered a TA position. They have received an unsatisfactory reference. They claim that my boss from my previous job wrote that "following through on advice from management" as a weakness. They also gave the incorrect reason for me leaving the job and claimed I resigned when I was actually laid off.
    The HR woman did not sound very happy and came across as a bit aggressive in the tone of her voice. It would appear that I am going to be unemployed this christmas and will have to move out of the flat with my partner because she won't have me if I can't pay my own way. Life on the streets seems inevitable. I always try my best at work and it isn't good enough for anybody. What makes it worse is the reference from my position in a school is most likely going to be appauling because I struggled with behaviour management.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Union? If a reference is correct as, maybe you can claim damages from whoever wrote it.

    NB I wouldn't waste time on a 'partner' who acts as you say yours will. Really.
    nomad and agathamorse like this.
  3. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    This reference was not from a school, but from an office job (my previous position). I might have to take further action, especially if this prevents my from finding future employment.
  4. Photo51

    Photo51 Established commenter

    The reference is potentially libellous but it's an effort and expense to follow through.
    Only people in organisations with little or no HR knowledge give opinions about an employee's capabilities in writing.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    Request a copy of the reference from the person who told you this.

    See Union:cool:
    Dragonlady30 and agathamorse like this.
  6. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Is it worthwile giving your side in writing?

    If you were at a failing school then not following through on management advice could be (easily) explainable, if you can describe why it was best not to.
    Say why you believed in yourself and not them. I would have thought that was a plus - but OK, does depend what you rebelled against.

    Same with the wrong information in it. Set the record straight.

    The fact they called you and spilled the beans makes me think they want you to address the areas of concern in the reference - so why not?

    (A letter is best imo as they must read it and there is a far greater chance of it being seen and dealt with by someone in authority plus if you take it further the union for example has a record of what you have said and done and how it was responded to)
    install and agathamorse like this.
  7. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Yes but don’t write excuses or contest the points in a letter or on the phone- go in firm and honest - and use email which is more immediate.
    “I am sorry to hear you have recieved an inaccurate and dishonest reference from my previous employment at xxxx.”

    Although I intend to contact xxxx to correct their records, my more immediate concern is to avoid this incident having an adverse effect on my application and accepted position to work at yyyy, which I am very much looking forward to and would hate the idea of letting anyone down.

    Can I make an appointment to come in and discuss the matter with (you)

    or something like that
  8. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I think this is a bit harsh. Firstly because many people have this problem particularly if they have little support from weak management, (who then try and shift the blame)

    But also because you are a TA, I agree every adult in a school has a role in behaviour management but in a classroom the main responsibility for that belongs to the teacher with you there for support. You should not have been put in the situation where you were solely responsible.
    agathamorse and Aquamarina1234 like this.
  9. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    My poor reference comes from an office job, Which was my previous position. This was not in a school.
    So I'm not sure if I can involve a union.
    I called them last week and they told me they are seeking further information from the employer. It doesn't look good, but at least they havn't withdrawn me yet.
    agathamorse and install like this.
  10. install

    install Star commenter

    You need to get a copy of the reference but at the right moment - hopefully once you have the job. You can request a copy of this from the the employer you have gone for an interview with. But wait until you see what feedback you are given and whether your offer of a post is declined due to the reference. You don't want to rock the boat just yet or ruin.any chance of getting the post.

    The potential new employer clearly likes you if they are going to the lengths of requesting more info and informing you of the issue...So wait and see first.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
    suertesamp and agathamorse like this.
  11. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    This is what the government has to say about references. 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, like 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 - such as job title, salary and when the worker was employed

    Once the worker starts with a new employer they can ask to see a copy of a reference. They have no right to ask their previous employer.

    Bad references

    If the worker thinks they’ve been given an unfair or misleading reference, they may be able to claim damages in a court. The previous employer must be able to back up the reference, such as by supplying examples of warning letters.

    Workers must be able to show that:

    • it’s misleading or inaccurate
    • they ‘suffered a loss’ - for example, a job offer was withdrawn

    Workers can get legal advice, including from Citizens Advice. They may also get legal aid."

    In general, reputable employers avoid giving poor references, since when successfully challenged, the consequences can be expensive. There is no legal requirement for an employer to provide a reference and in the main, even when an employer chooses to let an employee go, they are happy enough that the contract of employment has ended and move on, without feeling the need to hamper an ex-employee's future career opportunities.
    install and agathamorse like this.
  12. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Did you have any issues in your office job? I'm presuming here that you must have asked someone for a reference and they agreed? You need to call the union because whoever agreed to give you a reference has now caused you a problem.

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