So, I left my job earlier this year and ended up with a compromise agreement. Part of the deal is not being allowed to say a compromise agreement was reached to anyone else in the world (!) and another part was that a reference is provided when I go for new jobs. I had an interview today in a similar line and it turns out that one of the interviewers knows my ex-manager. Clearly he knew that something wasn't quite right with my story that I left for a 'new challenge'. He said he will contact my ex manager by phone for a reference. This is ridiculous. My ex manager is not allowed to give a reference other then the one I agreed to. I am not allowed to give the circumstances of my leaving. The sector I work in is small and incestuous. How the hell am I supposed to get another job with all this rubbish floating around? And no, I don't want to leave the sector,nor do can we to move. I did nothing wrong initially but seem to be the one being penalized because of their behaviour!
Grevling, I did say that kind of thing but they didn't seem very impressed .. People talk amongst themselves don't they - if this chap is a big pal of ex manager then they probably will find out I resigned not for the reasons I said at interview but because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to ex managers bullying! Ex manager is not going to admit that though and can quite easily twist it. If it's a private conversation, I may never find out and am then out of a chance for a job I know damn well I would be good at! Does that make sense!
I would drop a line to old company's HR to indicate to them that you are aware that your ex-mgr may be telephoned for a reference and that you would like clarification from them about how they will deal with such a circumstance in the context of their need to comply fully with your compromise agreement.
I agree with stillsquiffy... cause surely if you are bound by the tc of the compromise, the company has to also hold up their end of the agreement? I would flag this to your old HR department and cite your reasons.
I'm in the process of signing a compromise agreement myself at the moment and part of it does refer to not revealing the circumstances of my departure to the general public (outside family etc) and not to make derogatory comments about my former employer. They are equally bound in another clause, however, not to make derogatory comments about me so if you ever did find out that your former employer had given you a bad reference and it cost you a job they should - in theory at least - be in big trouble, if that is part of your compromise agreement!
Did you have a solicitor to review your compromise agreement (you should have)? If so, then you could always take action through them and send a solicitor's letter reminding them of the legal terms they signed up to. Obviously you would only need to take drastic action like that if you had concrete proof that they were bad-mouthing you and materially damaging your chances of re-employment.