Dss has just gotten let go from a top London restaurant. He has been working there for 2 days a week for the past 7 weeks and getting on very well indeed. They have had to make cutbacks (understandable in this climate) and have promised him a full time job when he finishes college. He is gutted but understands. The head chef was very nice and said lots of encouraging things but the executive head chef needed to make cut backs so dss got the boot. But they refused to give him a reference saying that he wasn't there long enough. Which I think is a bit mean. Ok they have promised him a job but what about between now and then? It will look very bad when he goes for a different job if he doesn't have a reference from the last one. I think it is a bit mean to let someone go when you have no problem with their work and not give them a reference?
I think that is pretty mean. They could certainly give a factual reference - eg 'He has worked here for 7 weeks for 2 days each week and in that time has always been on-time, reliable etc (assuming it is true!!).
They can always say that he hasn't worked long enough for mthem to comment on his kitchen skills etc but they can certainly comment on his attitude and behaviour which would be better than no reference.
the thing is that he was on a wage (albeit minimum) and they have a few other students who work for free so I'm sure they will just replace him with a freebie.
I wonder if they want to keep him on the back burner so that when someone leaves they can employ him immediately as he is already somewhat trained up. If he got a good job in another good restaurant he might not want to go back there. so if they hamper his chances he will be available to them iyswim. Or am i too machiavellian in my thinking?
Well yes that was what I thought, they could give him at least some reference to say that he actually did work there.
Re the ulterior motive, well I know how much time and effort it takes to train someone in a professional kitchen amd to promise him full time employment, it just seems a bit odd to hamper his opportunity to get another decent job.
I presume they wouldn't refuse but they did refuse to give him a reference It is just that I have NEVER heard of anyone being let go for economic reasons and being refused a reference.
To be clear, he is VERY talented, extremely concientious and extremely hard-working and copped on. he got promoted from prep to service after only 3 weeks which is unheard of. they seem to have been very pleased with him. I just find it very odd indeed that they refused him a reference. and if I was interviewing him for a job and he didn't have a reference I would be very suspicious indeed and probably not employ him.
So if you don't think they would refuse to provide a basic reference if requested by another employer, when you say they refused to provide a reference, do you mean a written statement for him to take away with him?
I have no knowledge or experience of the restaurant business, but fwiw my point of view is that pre-written references aren't worth the paper they are printed on as anyone could have written them. I would always disregard one and contact the ex-employer directly anyway.
As I said, though, I have no knowledge of what usually happens in the restaurant business, if it's usual to provide something like that, it seems strange and mean not to.