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Can a Company Withold a Reference?

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Can a Company Withold a Reference?

Old 26th Jan 2006, 17:15
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Post Can a Company Withold a Reference?

I will fortunately be leaving Jet2/Channel Express in the near future, I'm yet to hand in my resignation. Under what terms, if any, are they allowed to withold a reference? I ask this question not for the, 'he's an asset to any company....,' type of reference but for the one that simply states that you spent the last X years with them.

I know for a fact that More Faithless has refused point blank to issue references required for security IDs to former crew members for the issue of their airside passes in a deliberate attempt to sabotage their next job. I thought that it was a statutory obligation to confirm that a person had been employed by a company. Anyone shed any light on the matter please?
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Old 26th Jan 2006, 17:25
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In UK law there is no requirement for a company to provide a reference of any sort at all - but it is normal practice to reply to a suitably worded letter with at least the dates of employment, if nothing else.

You do have other ways of proving your dates of employment, as you should have payslips, for example, and perhaps your original offer letter.

If still employed I'd suggest having a few quiet words to find out if there is anyone else a new employer could contact. The HR function is the most obvious starting point.
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Old 26th Jan 2006, 18:58
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As I understand it, it's very rare for anyone to get a bad refrence these days, for fear of legal action. I know that doesn't answer your question but perhaps a solictors letter would wake them up?
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Old 26th Jan 2006, 22:22
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Failure to provide a reference used to be the clearest signal to a potential employer that the former emplyee was unsuitable for employment. Much more potent than a bad reference.
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Old 26th Jan 2006, 23:03
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In the past I worked for a small turbo prop operator that was notorious for not supplying references when asked for any employee. The reason given was that they were not legally obliged to provide any so they would not! However, as gaps in pilots and cabin crews employment came under increasing scrutiny for ID cards etc. the company in this case was forced to at least confirm your dates of employment with them as a minimum.
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Old 26th Jan 2006, 23:13
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still got his clubs
3 courses of action here, first a personal visit un-announced with a dictaphone (what I did in another life..then merrily played it back to the concerned individual), and if the reference is not forthcoming...seek legal advice.
Option 2 contact your tax office, your P45 MUST be issued when you end your employment..if not they are breach or about 10 tax laws....
Option 3 a personal referee who will provide an written statement
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Old 27th Jan 2006, 03:33
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As far as I know, a reference MUST be issued when asked. At least, that's under European law, so also valid in Britain (see? there are a lot of good things coming your way from the continent )

If they are not willing to give you a positive comment about your past as an employee of that specific company, they will just give you a letter which states the dates you worked there.
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Old 27th Jan 2006, 10:07
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Angry

Wing Commander Fowler, you are living in the past mate... ex-employers these days are vindictive and out for revenge that anyone could dare leave their fantastic company...

Most replies on here are missing the point however. The reference is not the 'he's a good egg' type, it is a reference to satisfy the idiots at the ID issuing department at airports. These people just do not seem to understand that many employers these days are not nice people.

I had a dispute with a former employer and on discussing it with the new chief pilot of said outfit he flatly refused to fill out the BAA form (which is a stupid irrelevant form anyway), but when I pointed out to him that all I need is confirmation of dates of employment he agreed to provide that and did so within a few days which was ok for me. I could not care less about his opinion of me as he did not even know me, but he was quite prepared to ignore the request for a reference based on false information from his predecessor.

I was also under the impression that legally ex employers have to at least provide confirmation that you were employed from x date to y date, and I think this legislation is written into the Aviation Security Act when they started to ask for the last 5 years of information.

757manipulator maked an interesting point. I used a mate of mine to provide a reference to cover the time I was overseas for a couple of months, maybe a friend would be able to provide a statement that they knew you for the time you were with that former employer. If BAA accept that, then you are sorted...

Just another thing to illustrate how this industry is at the mercy of idiots and *****...

Last edited by Jetdriver; 27th Jan 2006 at 11:35.
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Old 27th Jan 2006, 12:05
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Firstly congrats on getting a new job, I hope that the grass is greener on the other side, you have certainly made your feelings known re Jet2.

I think that it depends on how you leave the company, I know of only one, but maybe there's more, that haven't been given a reference. As far as I know the individual concerned left and refused to pay his bond. Now I know that this 5k bond whilst already type rated when joining seems to be a bit of a sod, he signed it of his own free will. Now if you go about things correctly and maturely, work your notice period and come to some arrangement which is mutually agreeable re any bond that you might have then I can't see a problem.

Good luk with the new job.

Jonathan
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Old 27th Jan 2006, 12:31
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The point has been made the references are less important to most employers than a simple confirmation of continuous service, etc. for licence, currency (log book) and security pass purposes. This distinction is important as it is more often than not that it is not a traditional job reference, as such, that is required by those carriers that seem to make it a requirement for new joiners.

I am aware of two companies that have played around with not giving references as part of a ploy to keep pilots. One of these is Ryanair (there is only one case involving the other and I don't know the full story). In Ryanair's case this practice does not seem to be widespread (as yet), but seems targetted to certain circumstances and individuals over the past 6 months or so. The recent change in contracts requiring 3 months notice seems to be tied in here, as some pilots who approached FR for "refrences" have been denied them, pending the working out of the 3 months - the purpose of which is, I trust, obvious.

I know of people who have lost job offers as a result of such "administrative cock-ups". What is one to say? Is this just Ryanair being Ryanair, or is it more of the same self-serving behaviour.

P.S. One of the pilots did attempt to point out to the prospective employer what was going on, but to no avail. Another decided to withdraw his three months notice. So you could argue that it is a good pilot retention policy!).
Others have been denied "reference" for as long as possible in questionable circumstances.
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Old 27th Jan 2006, 13:13
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Hey Jonathan, how are you? You are correct that the issue revolved around the 5,000 bond that guys who were already type rated were asked to stump up for. Not really fair to withold a reference which is a totally separate matter in my opinion: they either worked for Jet2 or they didn't. To deny it is a lie that has the potential to damage someone's career, but who in Channex management cares two figs about that? This has also involved at least three former Channex employees to my knowledge, not just one, by the way. At least there is some grass on the other side, nothing could possibly be as barren as Jet2.

GGV, it's not just Ryanair who can be accused of witholding references & implementing elongated notice periods. With jet2 it's a four month notice period & if you dare to leave before you have worked out all of this time then they charge you an extortionate amount for the shortfall.

I wonder if you lost a potential job because of them denying that you were there & an airside ID was subsequently lost that you could sue them for loss of potential earnings? Any legal eagles out there care to comment?

Thank you for all of your comments.
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Old 27th Jan 2006, 17:47
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This is one of those nasty little tricks vindictive employers keep up their sleeve as a background threat. It stinks. I once used a tame training captain when I expected the company to queer my pitch. It's one of those situations when you have to watch your back ever more closely.

My best advice is 'softly softly catchy monkey'.
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Old 27th Jan 2006, 18:34
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still got his clubs, your point about the practice spreading is taken. The idea of pursuing departing pilots for extortionate amounts (via expanding legal and other costs being added) is an old Ryanair trick too. It looks like the Ryanair disease is spreading steadily through the industry. Downwards we all go in the race to hit the bottom!
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Old 27th Jan 2006, 21:20
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still got the clubs

In this day and age the industry always has a get out clause "you sue me I sue you". If you do not pay your bond (you signed it as homer said "dooohh") or work your notice period they have I would guess a good right not to supply a reference. Its the chicken and egg syndrome again... As you might of guessed by now the airline world is a small one you dont know who you will bump into in the future. As Johnny [email protected] says be a good boy and try to come to a mature agreement, its always gives you a bit of respect until you move on to bigger and better things. Or you might become as bitter and twisted as the rest of the Jet2 haters on the board.
Keep Smiling
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Old 28th Jan 2006, 19:51
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Many companies, including BA, refuse to give a reference. The reason is the fear of litigation. If they say that a pilot is competent, and then he bends the aeroplane on his first sector with the new employer then the new employer might seek redress against the writer of the reference. When I left BA after an unblemished 34 years, all I got was a letter stating my start and finish dates.

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Old 29th Jan 2006, 09:34
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Captain Airclues that is all I'm asking for: for the issue of an airside ID for my next company. Unfortunately Jet2 has a history of flatly refusing to supply the start & finish date confirmation that you worked for them to therefore try & knacker you with your next company. And they wonder why people are leaving them & writing about them in such vitriolic ways on other threads.
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Old 29th Jan 2006, 11:25
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I am having exactly the same problem with that other company of fine repute,
Emerald!
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Old 30th Jan 2006, 10:27
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As far as I know the individual concerned left and refused to pay his bond. Now I know that this £5k bond whilst already type rated when joining seems to be a bit of a sod, he signed it of his own free will. Now if you go about things correctly and maturely, work your notice period and come to some arrangement which is mutually agreeable re any bond that you might have then I can't see a problem.
Hi Johnny, firstly allow me to correct a couple of your observations. It was not just one person who refused to pay back their bond, there were at least three of us. It was not exactly signed of my own free will when, at that time, it was Channex or the dole queue, the phrase short & curlies springs to mind. It's more than a bit of a sod when companies start to bond already rated people, it's down right disgusting & they tend to do it because they know damn well that their pay & conditions are low so they attempt to trap you. I did actually try to go about things in a mature & correct way but unfortunately, as you have to be aware, your aircrew manager is not allowed to be anything more than a mouth piece who cannot be negotiated with: he is not allowed to make any decision for himself. Another thing: Channex's bond does not decrease over a 12 month period so you still owe the full bond even on day 364. Remember I was already 737 type rated.

To not issue a reference is a low as it gets. This is an attempt to ruin someone's career, by using the crazy system for airside pass allocation in the UK, by a man who is already worth millions. He may not rely on a regular income to support his family but most of us do. What other reasons may spring up to make Channex withold a reference? Any kind of disagreement could do it. Good luck, still got his clubs, threads like this help to expose the dirty tactics that Channex employ & the industry is becoming aware of their low down tactics, believe me.
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Old 30th Jan 2006, 11:15
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For a start the issue of bonding etc. are irrelevant in this case.

The company have no right to withold this information and are actually breaking DfT rules if they won't confirm your dates of employment.

Many companies try this on for whatever perverted pleasure they get out of it, but they are just getting themselves in trouble for being intransigent idiots.

Contact BALPA about this, they know all about it, having dealt with a friend who had a similar problem. Strangely enough that was with Emerald aswell!

In the end though, his new company got so annoyed they wrote to the airport who were issuing the ID and just told them that they thought Emerald were going bust and so probably weren't capable of providing a reference. This seemed to satisfy them.

Ring them up and ask point blank why they haven't filled in a very simple request, it's not exactly rocket science so why they should be such muppets I don't know?
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Old 30th Jan 2006, 12:58
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If you are offered a contract that includes a bond and you sign it, regardless of your type rating situation, then you have entered into a contractual agreement.

If you now choose to break that contract why should you expect the company to give you a reference? You broke your contract and they won't be in any hurry to uphold their side of the contract since you are already in default.

Eventually they may give you a reference but not before any future employer has raised their eyebrows and investigated the circumstances of your departure from your previous employer, just basic good common sense, employers may be in competition but they also stick together.

Either don't agree to a bond or don't try to break it. The legal aspect is immaterial, all that matters is your continued employment with better and better employers, without collecting a bad reputation on the way.
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