Jackson v Liverpool City Council: CA 15 Jun 2011

Having left the defendant with a satisfactory reference, on moving jobs again a further reference was requested, but given this time in terms which the claimant said was defamatory, as to his record-keeping.
Held: The Council’s appeal was allowed. The second reference was true, accurate and fair. Accuracy and truth are derived from the facts underlying the reference and fairness from an overall balancing of the reference and any opinion expressed. A failure to give a reference may have left the defendant in a worse position.
An employer has no duty to give a character reference, but if it does so, that reference it should be true and fair.Any concerns should be disclosed in a measured and unprejudiced way, and where allegations had not been investigated, the correct response, as here, was point this out and, where appropriate that even if investigated and established that the allegations would not have led to disciplinary action.

Maurice Kay, Richards, Leveson LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 1068
England and Wales
CitedSpring v Guardian Assurance Plc and Others HL 7-Jul-1994
The plaintiff, who worked in financial services, complained of the terms of the reference given by his former employer. Having spoken of his behaviour towards members of the team, it went on: ‘his former superior has further stated he is a man of . .
DistinguishedBartholomew v London Borough of Hackney and Yeboah CA 23-Oct-1998
An employee was suspended, but complained of race discrimination. A settlement was reached. When applying for another job, the reference given mentioned only one side of the dispute.
Held: A reference had to be viewed as a whole, and to be . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Defamation

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.444596