Advanced search

Asking to see your reference - anyone done this?

(19 Posts)
HappyTeacher75 Thu 27-Feb-20 20:39:31


Just that. Has anyone asked either their school or a school they have applied to, to see the reference written about them?

How did you go about it if so?

OP’s posts: |
TalaxuArmiuna Thu 27-Feb-20 21:02:02

you are entitled to submit a subject access request to any organisation that might hold electronic records about you and require them to release all such information to you. however that only covers electronically stored records so if a reference was handwritten it can be excluded.

I have never done this but I know they happen as when writing references we are warned by HR to stick only to facts that could be proven in a court of law if needed - so no statements that are opinions - precisely because this is a possibility.

HappyTeacher75 Thu 27-Feb-20 21:40:17

I'd have thought electronic.
Do I just email the contact I had? Googling had me confused!

OP’s posts: |
mnthrowaway202020 Thu 27-Feb-20 21:41:47

@TalaxuArmiuna references aren’t included in that though

mnthrowaway202020 Thu 27-Feb-20 21:43:35

TalaxuArmiuna Thu 27-Feb-20 22:08:04

@mnthrowaway202020 so why are so many HR depts so paranoid about people making trouble when they find out what was written in a reference? I know it's not just my company. there are loads who have this kind of policy.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Feb-20 13:38:48

Two people I know asked their new school to see it and were shown it. There was no point in asking the old school.

ChicCroissant Fri 28-Feb-20 13:44:53

You can ask the school you are working at now for sight of your reference, but not the schools you have applied to and been unsuccessful.

IME people usually ask to see their reference because they disagree with the referee's opinion Talaxu. I agree with you that a lot of companies have a policy of very bland references nowadays.

ChicCroissant Fri 28-Feb-20 13:46:18

Just to clarify because I think the OP wants to ask the school she is working at now for the reference they are sending to others - that's not what I meant! You can ask your current employer for the references they have received when you applied to work there!

mnthrowaway202020 Fri 28-Feb-20 14:17:32

@TalaxuArmiuna Again that doesn’t change the fact that references are a specific exemption under data protection requests due to being confidential.

When GDPR was introduced, they closed a loophole so now both the referee and the new employer are exempt from providing references under GDPR. They can disclose references if they want to but are under no legal obligation to.

References have to be factual and therefore evidence is needed to support them. If an employer gives an unfounded scathing reference, they could be taken to court. Obviously HR exists to avoid situations like this from occurring, hence why basic references or a refusal to provide a reference are the preferred options.

TalaxuArmiuna Fri 28-Feb-20 14:22:03

@ChicCroissant but not the schools you have applied to and been unsuccessful.

then how is @mnthrowaway202020's "If an employer gives an unfounded scathing reference, they could be taken to court" ever possible?

ChicCroissant Fri 28-Feb-20 14:30:48

You'd have to ask mnthrowaway for the answer to that!

HappyTeacher75 Fri 28-Feb-20 15:28:03

Just to clarify - I was going to ask somewhere I applied to but was turned down from.
Asking my employer would be disastrous.
Current employer has form for incorrect references.

OP’s posts: |
mnthrowaway202020 Fri 28-Feb-20 17:45:04

@TalaxuArmiuna I have attached the relevant information regarding GDPR directly from the ICO as you seem to be having comprehension difficulties.

Again, they can disclose references if they want to but are under no legal obligation to. Just to really make it clear for you - you can ask, either company can say no.

tulippa Sat 29-Feb-20 15:26:08

I asked to see mine sent from my last school. The headteacher refused saying he didn't have to. Who knows what he wrote in it but I still got my new job ok.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sun 01-Mar-20 09:09:41

I know someone who worked in my school who asked to see her reference. She was given it and wasn’t pleased with what it said.

HappyTeacher75 Sun 01-Mar-20 15:15:22

@BeingATwatItsABingThing was it truthful but not what she wanted to see, or incorrect?

OP’s posts: |
BeingATwatItsABingThing Sun 01-Mar-20 15:43:37

Umm... I wouldn’t say it was completely inaccurate.

HappyTeacher75 Sun 01-Mar-20 18:31:48

😀 far enough! My place has form for causing trouble through references and despite doing a bloody good job, I wouldn't put it past them to write otherwise.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in