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Job offer withdrawn due to unsatisfactory references

(17 Posts)
camimillie Fri 13-Nov-15 11:44:44

A relative is in this situation.

For context, the job offer was originally made in mid September and required two years of references - this meant four previous employers.

My relative has had to go to a great deal of trouble chasing these only for the job offer to be withdrawn.

Is there anything we can do? He is in a union and is trying to contact them now.

NoodleNuts Fri 13-Nov-15 15:43:14

I doubt it. There is no point a prospective employer asking for references if they are going to ignore them anyway.

Were the references received but not good or have they not received at all and the new employer is fed up of waiting?

Either way, if the offer was subject to references and they haven't been received or are unsatisfactory, they are within their rights to withdraw the offer.

Tiggeryoubastard Fri 13-Nov-15 15:47:26

What on earth does he think a union can do? If his references weren't good enough then why on earth would they give him the job? confused he sounds a bit thick if he thinks they should and he can make them. Hardly an ideal person to employ.
And unless there's good reasons, 4 employers in two years seems a lot.

Floggingmolly Fri 13-Nov-15 15:52:24

Why was it "a great deal of trouble" to get the references? That sounds like a cause for concern in itself...

SevenOfNineTrue Fri 13-Nov-15 15:57:31

In the UK there are so many laws governing references that usually a company will only confirm dates of employment and a job title.

Could he have made a mistake on a job title or could he have left on bad terms with a company?

flowery Fri 13-Nov-15 16:14:24

Well he needs to find out what the problem references said. If they are negative but accurate and based in substantiated fact, then there's not a lot he can do.

If one or more reference is misleadingly negative and cannot be substantiated, he should then take steps to address that with the employer giving the reference.

camimillie Fri 13-Nov-15 17:06:14

He has autism actually Tigger - I appreciate you didn't know this but still, was there any need for such a nasty message?

Have emailed the company and requested copies of the references. Thank you for your advice.

NeedAScarfForMyGiraffe Fri 13-Nov-15 19:58:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Palomb Fri 13-Nov-15 20:07:25

Some employers can be dreadful about providing references. I worked for a short while for an outsourcing company.. Aka an agency. I was never late, never sick, always worked hard and was bloody good at the job. When I got the job I'm in now it was a massive palava getting a reference from them and bad had to write a strongly worded letter to their head of HR.
I was at risk of losing a permenent job because the didn't see people as people, just numbers.

Struggling to get a reference doesn't always mean a person is anything to be concerned about.

DinosaursRoar Fri 13-Nov-15 20:09:54

Unless you suspect the references have said something that's not factually true, there's not much you can do about this - and even then, a company doesn't have to employ someone, or do you suspect they have withdrawn the offer because of his disablity? It would be very hard to prove discrimination.

There's common held belief that previous employers now have to give a good reference, or aren't allowed to give a bad reference, but that's not true - as long as what is said is true, they can give a negative reference.

Many job offers are withdrawn at reference stage, it's also the stage when CVs are checked, it would be worth checking your relative's CV to make sure there's no factual errors on it (like dates employed, grades achieved etc). Something being flagged up as an untruth on a CV can regularly lead to job offers being withdrawn.

customercare Fri 13-Nov-15 20:12:40

Needsascarfe In this day of short term contract work I don't think 4 jobs in 2 years is unusual.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Fri 13-Nov-15 20:19:02

It's often due to things like sickness absence. Could it be this? If so he may be protected by the disability discrimination act

ilovesooty Fri 13-Nov-15 20:26:56

The disability discrimination act has been superceded by the Equality Act 2010.

I doubt that the companies will give you copies of the references.

ilovesooty Fri 13-Nov-15 20:28:47

Sorry I see you've asked the prospective employer for copies of the references.

customercare Fri 13-Nov-15 21:09:32

Are references covered by the Freedom of Information act? I think that a person should be able to see his/her reference especially if a job has been withdrawn because of it and I can envisualise someone challenging it on discrimination grounds or the like.

sarahbanshee Sat 14-Nov-15 08:34:01

It would be a Subject Access Request I believe - you may have to pay £10 and you are entitled to request any records held involving you.

As flowery said, it depends if the references are accurate or not - and then, as you mention your relative has a disability, whether there are any further Equality Act issues raised in relation to the facts eg reference says "he had a lot of sick leave" but this was accepted as related to the disability and being managed outside the usual parameters in accordance with the employer's Equality Act duties and so this should have been mentioned.

In the end unless a previous employer has flat out misrepresented the facts, if a job offer has been withdrawn on the basis of unsatisfactory references the chance of overturning that is minuscule, sorry.

anothernumberone Sat 14-Nov-15 08:40:26

I don't know about the UK but the vast majority of references here are done on the phone so whatever written 'sanitised' references say is not really relevant. I do not think there is much you can do except support him to find a more suitable job because what will be 5 jobs in 2 years is worrying to employers in and of itself.

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