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References

I may be called upon to give a reference for a temporary worker who has been reporting to me for about 5 months.

This person has been difficult from day one. They started off by saying that they suffer from some illness which affects their ability to get up each morning and consequently arrives about 15 minutes late each day. Their first task is then to go to the canteen and return with a bacon sandwich and coffee which is consumed at their desk prior to doing any work.

They take over an hour for lunch when the official time is 30 minutes and frequently return from lunch with their lunch which they eat at their desk.

Every request is questioned and they will do the work their way or the stress will trigger a migraine and tears.

I am on a temporary contract myself and this nightmare is off in a few days to inflict their approach on some other poor souls.

So, how honest can a reference be in these pc days? I may not be called to give one but I want to know what can be said and what can't.

Any thoughts/help?

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17th Mar 2010 09:14

Giving an adverse reference is fraught with risk.

  You are under no obligation to give a reference at all. However, if you do give a reference, you are under a legal duty to give an accurate reference. If you give an inaccurate or negligent reference, the employee can sue to recover damages. This claim is brought in the County Court NOT the Employment Tribunal.

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17th Mar 2010 09:23

Much obliged CD

This was pretty much what I reckoned.

I had thought my best course would be to decline and just settle on buying cakes on the day after they leave!!

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By Anonymous
17th Mar 2010 09:23

maybe if you are asked

say something bland but make a call to the person.

Or say something totally factual?

I had a case a while back when I wanted to employ a nanny & her former employer kindly rang & said she was great when she was there but was rather prone to health issues.........I got the message.

 

 

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17th Mar 2010 10:04

Healthism ?
 

I had a case a while back when I wanted to employ a nanny & her former employer kindly rang & said she was great when she was there but was rather prone to health issues.........I got the message.

 

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 17/03/2010 - 09:23

 

Are you allowed to "discriminate" on the grounds of health - or is that now some kind of "...ism" in NuLabour's loony Britain?

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By bobhurn
17th Mar 2010 11:35

Factual Only

Many employers will now issue only factual references. 

 

Mr X was employed from  ______      to ______

His position was XXXXXXX

Reason for leaving XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Any disciplinary matters   Yes/No

My understanding is that if an employer has this policy it must be used fro all staff, i.e. not only used when you would really like to give a bad reference.

 

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17th Mar 2010 12:01

Thanks to all

All being well I won't be asked and I can rejoice when they leave but I have a better understanding at any rate.

Thanks all.

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17th Mar 2010 15:45

References

The ground rules are different for personal and company references.

Company references should be handled by HR .

No one has to give a personal reference and there are many acceptable reasons for declining to give them. You might want to check with HR as many businesses have policies on staff giving personal references (such as "don't" ).

 

 

 

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17th Mar 2010 16:17

Thanks again

I believe this person likes to keep some kind of scrapbook type arrangement of previously glowing testimonials and requests a reference for this purpose.

I do rather suspect I haven't been asked because she knows only too well what I'd want to say - even if I couldn't.

In any case, I will be declining and just celebrating on 29 March with a suitably calorific stuffing of the face courtesy of the local supermarket cream cake counter.

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By Anonymous
18th Mar 2010 11:12

It's a bit late now but....

For someone habitually late, if you cannot persuade them nicely to arrive on time, then a slightly blunter stick is to move their entire working day back. "Yes you can start 30 minutes later, but you can also finish 30 minutes later". Just sayin'...

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18th Mar 2010 11:31

Cream cakes ???????????????

In any case, I will be declining and just celebrating on 29 March with a suitably calorific stuffing of the face courtesy of the local supermarket cream cake counter.

 

Posted by Peter Bonetti on Wed, 17/03/2010 - 16:17

 

Oh dear - the "health police" will be round to give you a good talking to. In these PC days shouldn't you be celebrating with a nice healthy salad (withour dressing) and maybe some wholemeal bread?  .................. and giving the cream cake to me :)

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18th Mar 2010 12:14

Cream cake? In your state of health?

I'd willingly send you a cream cake but not at the expense of a manslaughter rap!!

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18th Mar 2010 12:34

OK - send me the salad - :(
Cream cake? In your state of health?

I'd willingly send you a cream cake but not at the expense of a manslaughter rap!

Posted by Peter Bonetti on Thu, 18/03/2010 - 12:14

 

I'd risk it - but have you ever seen a cream cake thats been through the postal system in a jiffy bag?

 

 

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18th Mar 2010 14:22

We would only give a reference to a potential employer

I would always decline to give a 'To whom it may concern' and would ignore a scrapbook if interviewing.

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