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Why are Corporations allowed to ask this stuff? Or are they?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by coldmetal, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    Please give the name and address of two persons who have managed you in a professional capacity who may be consulted regarding your suitability for this post. One referee must be your present or most recent employer. Please do not give the names of Friends, Relatives or Colleagues. Your referee must be someone who had senior management responsibility for your work. The period of time covered by the referees you give must be at least the last 3 years. Please provide further details if necessary in the field 'Additional References'. If offered employment with the College your referees will be asked for information regarding your past sickness absence.

    Most corporate policies dictate that any reference requests come in via Human Resources now and include disclaimers as negative references by HOD's can compromise the organisations. Is this just out of date?

    Also some teachers and lecturers go through hell because of bad, vindictive or misguided line managers. It's often not their fault they have to leave. Just because of minor disagreements they are performance managed out of the door.

    Also can they really request you sickness history?! People who might have been off due to 'Work Stress' will be rejected immediately.
    thekillers likes this.
  2. catbanj

    catbanj Occasional commenter

    Sorry Mike but that looks like every reference I have ever completed for someone else or given for myself.

    When I've written references I've always had to say how good their attendance was, either as % or days absent- I've always said that I won't/can't comment on the reasons as that is confidential (and I have written that when asked).

    Reasons for absence have always been on the Health Questionnaire that applicants have to complete.

    I *think* the three years coverage for reference is the best oractice with the new safeguarding code.
  3. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I am a bit confused. It has to be someone who has SMT responsibility over you, but is not a colleague? That seems to be contradictory.
    If you have only been in a school for two years, or on a short contract of a term or a year, then this would be difficult to comply with. It seems a little proscriptive form that point of view.
    The sickness thing is standard. In giving references for sixthformers, I have always commented on attendance - it's useful information for a potential employer, I'd have thought.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    When I've done job applications in the past I've always asked my current HT and current HOD for references.

    If I decide to move on again i will do the same again

    Attendance is important - I've never been in the position where I was shortlisting people for interview but I would always look at their attendance.

    My current HT told us recently that if an applicant hasn't got an attendance record of at least 97 % (without a good reason) - he won't consider them.

    You don't want people in schools who are never there.
  5. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    The three years is standard for safeguarding reasons. Even if the HR reference is only factual dates and so on it will cover off no complaints etc. There should be one from previous headteacher or similar senior person.

    My LA started to ask for attendance details. I found it very useful and, yes, it did affect the process unless the candidate made it clear about a one off reason. Then the LA said we weren't to ask any more as it was discriminatory against people with a health condition.
  6. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Let's say someone has to have a hysterectomy to remove cancerous tissue which could not wait conveniently for the 6 week break.

    Once removed this person is able to return to full time work.

    These sort of forms will discriminate against her judging by the tone of some people on this forum about attendance.

    Besides I'm not sure everyone in the system who deals with children gets the same amount of training regarding safe guarding or police checks.

    I'm talking anyone who takes children aside for one to one surveys about quality of teaching and school services.

    It should be the same level of scrutiny for everyone from trust board directors, govenors, OFSTEd, ministers and other dignitaries who visit schools.

    Not to mention anyone who works in any capacity for charities that involve interaction with children anywhere in the world........

    They should all submit to the the same three year background checks and work service history as teachers in the system.

    As well as financial checks that make sure no money laundering is taking place behind the banner of 'helping children'.

    Getting our service history and background checked by someone who might have a dodgy history really feels very very creepy. We might not have anything to hide but what about those managers we are supposed to get references from? Can we say really say the same?
  7. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

  8. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Yep, I have recently given a reference and I had to give attendance %. I had to fill in a tick box as to whether the person interacted well with others etc.
    I have used all sorts of people as referee in the past, work I did as a volunteer, Uni tutors, professional people e.g. solicitor, vet. If I moved on again now I would have to give my line manager. In fact, line manager recently gave me a reference for something.(Glowing reference). I'm not sure who else I would use because it is a long time since I changed jobs. I have had about 3 different line managers in my present job, people from previous positions have moved on.
    I don't think people are allowed to say that someone is an awkward cuss who is forever off work. They just have to give facts and figures.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Once offered employment, you have to fill in a health declaration thingy, which asks about absence.
    Even if the referees weren't asked, you would be.
    This is possibly to stop people lying on their health declaration forms.
    They are merely asking about the sickness absence, not saying that someone who had two months off with a broken leg is scuppered before they start. A quick and accurate explanation is all that is needed.

    References from past employers are essential as part of safer recruitment. You cannot have someone turning up and giving their mum and best friend as referees, even if these two people work with them. References covering at least the last three years are only a problem for those looking for a post very early in their career. Everyone else can give line manager and head from their current post, if they have been there more than three years, or heads from their current and previous posts.

    Not sure what the dilemma or argument is here.
    Pomz, Flere-Imsaho and grumpydogwoman like this.
  10. Ellakits

    Ellakits Lead commenter

    Sorry to hijack this thread, but query:

    I am not currently teaching, I'm working for a close family member. There is no one I am not related to in a senior capacity in the business, or indeed anyone else qualified to give a reference.

    I am hoping to return to teaching after October half-term. I have previous employers I could list as referees, but the most recent of these is in 2015. If I can't give a family member as as referee (understandably), who do I give instead?
  11. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    I think under those circumstances I would give the one from 2015 (and the previous one to that??) and your current one, and perhaps an explanatory note saying "currently I am working for the family business" or somesuch
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  12. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    another route back into teaching to consider would be a spell on supply, then use a reference from this to go forward to looking for a long term job
  13. Ellakits

    Ellakits Lead commenter

    @strawbs Thanks, I'll try that. Incidentally, the 2015 head was removed from post after I left and another head was put in place whom I've never met. Would that make a difference? I also left with an agreed reference (due to actions of the removed head) - does the new head have to honour it?
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You need some new references.
    Pomz likes this.
  15. Ellakits

    Ellakits Lead commenter

    Sorry, I'm confused here.

    Do you mean I need new references because I've been working for a family member, or because the new head at my last school doesn't have to honour the last reference, or indeed give one at all?

    And who do I approach for a new reference? The new head at my last school?
  16. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    The new head at your old school will not know you personally but will still have your personnel file (they must keep them 6 years). As a minimum they should be able to confirm your dates of employment and that there were no complaints or safeguarding issues. The head will probably also ask an existing member of staff who knew you for a comment and should have your appraisal records to say they were at least satisfactory or include a quote from them.

    They shouldn't just fob you off.
    Pomz and caterpillartobutterfly like this.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Yes and it will be in your file, so no problems there.
  18. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I think it's a personal anxiety from the OP who seems to have posted about at couple of jobs in the last few months which have not gone well.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Quite so. Absolutely. Indeed.

    And sometimes the line managers have a point.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I agree, I noticed his username. It is a pain for him as his references may not be that great.

    But there is no dilemma as such, because there is no alternative. Safer recruitment means references have to be sought from the most recent headteacher and applicants must be 'fit to teach'. Those are the (very sensible) rules!
    sabrinakat and grumpydogwoman like this.

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