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References & data protection act

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by dg63, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. dg63

    dg63 New commenter

    We are being asked to sign a 3rd party disclosure giving the school explicit consent to release our employee information to mortgage providers, pension companies, reference requests etc.

    I don't have a problem with this apart from the line that says failure to sign this disclosure will prevent a reference being provided & may jeopardise future employment.

    I know employers aren't obliged to give a reference but can they refuse because I didn't sign a release form? Surely if I'm applying for a job, I'd ask my potential referees first & they would automatically have my permission. Similarly if I apply for a mortgage etc, HR could ask me if its OK.
  2. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I would contact your union for their advice.
    I would consider it wholly irregular for an employer to seek complete freedom to release information; it should be on a strictly case-by-case basis.
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Is this permission for the employer to randomly release your information or something that will sit on your file and allow the employer to release information when you apply for a mortgage,new job etc?
  4. dg63

    dg63 New commenter

    It will sit in my file & be used when I apply for a new job etc.

    I don't really have a problem signing it but can they refuse to write a reference if I don't sign it?
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I doubt it but it might delay things if they require a signed release from you to provide a reference. If you were no longer working there, they'd possibly have problems getting in touch with you for that signature when contacted by a prospective employer.
    Up until now, the fact that you've given the referee details on an application form has been enough for getting references but everyone is going crazy over data protection these days and covering their backs based on the very rare abuses that come to light.
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I'd be inclined to ask whether they've got their backs covered for a case of identity fraud? I don't want my employer giving details of my employment to somebody else without I know about it, and have confirmed that that organisation needs it. If that means filling in a form at the time, fair enough. As regards references after leaving, perhaps that could be tackled with a form when people leave.

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