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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44957
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Am currently on suspension and due hearing soon however

Customer Question

hi am currently on suspension and due for a hearing soon however after seeing the reports they have on I can not cope with the situation as most of the allegations have been fabricated. I am currently having headaches and not sleeping. I am currently considering resigning and move on however am not sure about my future reference with them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. If you are genuinely sick and cannot attend a disciplinary you can expect the employer to postpone it until a time when you are feeling better and able to attend. They should not hold it in your absence especially the first time you have asked for a postponement due to ill health. However if you have resigned and are spending your notice period on sick leave they could make attempts to try and resolve this matter before your employment terminates so it could eventually be held in your absence although you would have the right to defend yourself and could do this in writing.
In terms of references there is no legal obligation on the employer to provide one in the first place. So if they really wanted to they could refuse to give you one. If they do decide to issue a reference they will automatically owe you a duty to take reasonable care in its preparation. This requires the employer to be accurate in the contents of the reference and ensure it is based on facts, rather than just personal opinion.
Certain principles have been established through case law over the years and the main points can be summarised as follows:
1. In the case of Bartholomew v London Borough of Hackney the employer provided a reference which contained details of disciplinary proceedings which were pending at the time the employee left. The court decided that the employer had not breached its duty of care by providing such a reference as it would have a duty to provide a reference that is true, accurate and fair and does not present facts so as to give a misleading impression overall. Therefore, if the employer had not included details of the disciplinary proceedings it would have failed in its duty to the prospective employer to provide a reference that was not unfair or misleading.
2. In the later case of Cox v Sun Alliance Life Ltd the employer provided a reference that contained details of an employee's alleged misconduct. However, they did not properly investigate these before providing the reference and the employee challenged the information in it. The court decided that an employer will be negligent in providing a reference that refers to an employee’s misconduct unless the employer had carried out an investigation and had reasonable grounds for believing that the misconduct had taken place. This can be applied to other matters forming part of a reference, not just issues of misconduct.
So if it is obvious that incorrect facts have been relied on, the contents are false or misleading, there may be a potential case for negligence against the employer and this matter could be taken further by seeking compensation in the county court for any damages caused.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.

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