Reference from an employer must be accurate
Boss won't let her go
Q. My friend keeps getting second interviews but the offers are withdrawn at the last minute. She thinks her employer may be giving a bad reference because he doesn't want her to leave. How can she prove this and put a stop to it?
A. One of the prospective employers may provide your friend with a copy of the reference. If they confirmed that it lost her the job, she might have a case for compensation if she can show her personnel records warrant something better. She is entitled to see her personnel records (but not the reference) under the Data Protection Act. If an employer provides a reference, it must be accurate. If your friend can provide evidence of her suspicions she should consider seeing a solicitor.
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Q. I worked at a hotel for four months and they have now sacked me without giving me a reason. Do they have to give me a reason, and should there be a disciplinary procedure, with verbal and written warnings? I did have a contract.
A. Those who have been employed for less than two years (starting after April 6, 2012) are barred from taking a claim to the employment tribunal. So normal sanctions for employers failing to follow the disciplinary code can't be claimed. There are exceptions, though. Employees sacked because of (and this is not an exhaustive list), discrimination, pregnancy or because they have asserted a statutory right, can apply to the Employment Tribunal before their two years' service. You were entitled to a week's notice and pay in lieu of accrued (but not taken) holiday.
Will they find out?
Q. I have worked in property maintenance for a firm of accountants for ten years. They now want a police check on all staff. I served a prison term 24 years ago, although I have been straight since. Will this show on my police check?
A. A Criminal Records Bureau check (CRB) is usually only required when work involves children, vulnerable adults or a high level of honesty. Your employers may reasonably be checked given their control over other people's money but I doubt your position warrants this. A jail sentence of more than two-and-a-half years never becomes spent so would show up. 'Spent' convictions only show on an enhanced check.
Karen Bussell is an employment specialist in the commercial team at Nash & Co Solicitors LLP, Beaumont House, Beaumont Park, Plymouth. Tel 01752 664444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.nash.co.uk. If you have a legal problem, write to You and the Law, Room 101, Western Morning News, Brest Road, Derriford Business Park, Plymouth, Devon PL6 5AA, or leave your query on our Legal Adviceline 0117 964 4794.