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Bad Reference. Was my former manager right to discuss my diagnosis?

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Skm3825
Skm3825 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
edited June 2022 in Work and employment
During the pandemic me and five others in my previous job got made redundant, luckily our Manager gave us all typed references as the company was likely to close.    

I've been applying for jobs for the past three months with no luck, however today I found out in conversation with one manager that not only was the reference given very bad, but my former manager was talking about my Autism as well.    I am a wheelchair user but require no adjustments as the building I would have been working in is fully accessible

I didn't want to disclose my diagnosis until after I'd been in the job for a while, because from my previous experience (unfortunately) people judge you.   

My ultimate question is was my former manager right to discuss my diagnosis?
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi and welcome to the community 

    Your employer shouldn't discuss your condition in a ref only if the question was asked specifically by the new employer and then only if they have written evidence of the condition and that this affected your employment 

    I would contact acas for advice if if is a problem but now it has been disclosed it can't be taken back 
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @Skm3825

    Welcome to the community, sorry to hear about the reference. Whether they were right to discuss your diagnosis I'm not sure to be honest. I'm uncertain whether there is anything that stipulates they shouldn't but I don't think references should involve personal information wherever possible.

    This page on the ACAS website says that an employer shouldn't include irrelevant personal details in a reference, which I appreciate doesn't necessarily answer your question. If you think it isn't relevant for the role you are applying for, then I guess it's something they shouldn't discuss really.

    I see that you have put this thread in our work and employment category, which is great. Please feel free to have a look through other discussions in that category too in case you find reading about the situations of others helpful.

     

    This is a very supportive and welcoming site to be a part of so I’m hopeful that you’ll find it to be a positive outlet. Feel free to have a look around and get involved wherever you’d like 😊 I have included below a few of the pages I’d recommend having a look through to get used to things:

    • The virtual coffee lounge which is one of our categories, in which we play games and talk about general subjects such as hobbies and interests
    • The recent discussions page, which shows an overview of everything happening across the community
    • The categories page, which shows a full list of discussion groups on the community

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  • Skm3825
    Skm3825 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    I will definitely be engaging more on this forum.   

    A friend of mine has recommended me to contact ACAS after talking to the manager as if his mentioning my disability and poor reference prevents me from working then I can ask regarding loss of earnings
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    If it is a typed reference that is in your possession then don't submit it just give details of who your past employer was then it's up to them if they can get a reference from your old employer or not 
  • Skm3825
    Skm3825 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    janer1967 said:
    If it is a typed reference that is in your possession then don't submit it just give details of who your past employer was then it's up to them if they can get a reference from your old employer or not 
    The typed reference is very good, and I've been sending a copy of that with my CV for interview.   

    It turns out that the manager is not sticking to what he agreed to say to any future employer
  • Skm3825
    Skm3825 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    janer1967 said:
    If it is a typed reference that is in your possession then don't submit it just give details of who your past employer was then it's up to them if they can get a reference from your old employer or not 
    Also I'm not sure if you know or not, is my former employer allowed to mention any medical conditions to any new employer.    

    It was my understanding that they couldn't without my permission
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Tbh it is only hearsay if you haven't actually seen a ref they have sent to another employer the other manager could be speculating 

    It would be hard to prove also that this is reason you have not had any job offers 

    Majority of companies don't request a ref until they are going to make a job offer and that is 6d7ally an offer subject to ref 

    It would also not be ethical to not offer a role based on s disability as long.as you meet the job requirement 

    It's not very straight forward so I would get advice from acas 

    As for claiming loss of earnings it would be a hard fight and would likely cost more than any gain as you would have to prove you have lost earnings based on the ref and that would involve both old employer and ones you have applied to that have requested that ref and they will fight to say that your disability wasn't reason for not offering 

    Sorry sounds bit negative buf just trying to be realistic 
  • AndrewHall
    AndrewHall Community member Posts: 276 Pioneering
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    I was once employed by a school. I aggravated my knee problems while working and had to leave the job. I won £5,000 in an out of court settlement. 
    Never allow DWP assertions to define you. They never have evidence of your true circumstances.
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