Getting a reference if dismissed from previous employer.

My son is being put under a lot of pressure at work - and theres a good chance he will lose his job shortly. Supposedly its performance related not gross misconduct or anything. - How would he stand about getting a reference from an employer who dismissed him ?

Hes only been there around 12 months - no redundancy or unfair dismissal implications.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
There are 2 scenarios:

1. They may give a reference, in which case it must be honest and truthful. The unspoken convention is that if they don't like you, or you left under a cloud, they will confirm the dates you were employed, the job title, and nothing else - it acts like an informal code between employers that all was not well, but without risking lying or defamining anyone.

2. They may decline to give a reference at all, there is no law compelling them to do so.

Unless he has some real serious dirt with which to blackmail his soon to be former employer, there is nothing he can do influence the matter.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Similar has happened to my son recently - Due to covid his job went to basically call centre with no support as he'd only been in the job 6 months and was learning. Said he wasn't enjoying it in a review, so they just said, 'well it's not for you, bye'.

You can, at best, hope for a 'generic reference' which most employers do - i.e. xyz worked here from "a" until "b".
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
For a lot of companies references for less skilled jobs are handled by the HR department and not the manager responsible. In such a case you are likely to get a limited reference with confirmation that there were no problems and the dates of employment. Not particularly helpful.
 
OP
kingrollo

kingrollo

Guru
Similar has happened to my son recently - Due to covid his job went to basically call centre with no support as he'd only been in the job 6 months and was learning. Said he wasn't enjoying it in a review, so they just said, 'well it's not for you, bye'.

You can, at best, hope for a 'generic reference' which most employers do - i.e. xyz worked here from "a" until "b".
Thats similar to what happened here - he got furloughed - along with a load of his mates (hes only 20) - loved furlough on his playstation, playing all golf, etc - Went back on a bit downer - he's been pulled up over application and attitude - but no real guidance where to improve. Sounds like a done deal - Shame his employer prior to this one thought well of him - but he left to gain more experience.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at some time or other, certainly happened to me more than once and was always for the better.
All he can do on his CV is be honest and say why it didn’t work out, it’s not an indelible stain on his employment record if he was a square peg in a round hole and most employers will recognise that. Experience is something that nobody can take away from you so I’m sure he’ll find success in finding alternative employment.
 
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annedonnelly

Girl from the North Country
A lot of interviewing companies provide a tick-box form for references - did x turn up on time? did x have months off sick? - etc. So there's not much scope for a previous employer to say anything bad.

And, I'd have thought that if someone has done well at interview then a reference would have to be pretty bad to make the prospective employer change their mind.

Hopefully they'd also take into consideration that it's been a bit fo a mad year for everyone!!
 
OP
kingrollo

kingrollo

Guru
I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at some time or other, certainly happened to me more than once and was always for the better.
All he can do on his CV is be honest and say why it didn’t work out, it’s not an indelible stain on his employment record if he was a square peg in a round hole and most employers will recognise that. Experience is something that nobody can take away from you so I’m sure he’ll find success in finding alternative employment.
I was asked to resign once - but I was in my 40's - and had the where with all - to make a fair reference promise a condition of my departure (along with a few months pay !!)
 
OP
kingrollo

kingrollo

Guru
A lot of interviewing companies provide a tick-box form for references - did x turn up on time? did x have months off sick? - etc. So there's not much scope for a previous employer to say anything bad.

And, I'd have thought that if someone has done well at interview then a reference would have to be pretty bad to make the prospective employer change their mind.

Hopefully they'd also take into consideration that it's been a bit fo a mad year for everyone!!
With the way things are at the moment he is keen to work in the public sector - who are from memory a bit more fussy with references.
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at some time or other, certainly happened to me more than once and was always for the better.
All he can do on his CV is be honest and say why it didn’t work out, it’s not an indelible stain on his employment record if he was a square peg in a round hole and most employers will recognise that. Experience is something that nobody can take away from you so I’m sure he’ll find success in finding alternative employment.
I agree with the need to be honest, but keep any explanation very brief. I used to do lots of recruiting and a surprising number of people talked themselves out of jobs I urgently wanted to fill.

If your son is willing it's a good idea to help him practice his answers to the standard questions including the one about leaving his last job.
 
I once sacked somebody for petty theft and gave a basic reference as per Drago. Got a phone call from what is now called HR at a large company and was asked for a verbal reference for this person as Security Guard. Refused to be very specific and was less than fulsome in comments without saying exactly why he had been sacked as the call was probably genuine but could not be sure. He got the job.
 

Profpointy

Legendary Member
I was regularly asked for references and HR told me that I could not do a reference as it had to come from them, and I assume only give dates and little else. If I did give a reference I had to state clearly that it was a "personal reference" due to company policy.

Even back in the day, when my mum was a civil servant, a reference from them would be "employed from x to y and was satisfactory" Apparently there was even "entirely satisfactory" as an option, but no one reach those heights in reality.

Unless someone has been sacked for thieving or similar, few people are going to put anything bad in writing.
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
I was someone that overworried about references in the past.

With how bad the world is at the moment employers on both sides I don't think will care that much. I think it'll be like the last world financial crisis where so much badness was going around people became less judgemental and didn't give a monkeys about so many things.

Public sector, get what you're saying, however I was asked to write two NHS references to my complete shock which suggests there's variation in trusts and/or less stringent than experiences I've had from the other side.
 
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