“My former boss gave me an unfair reference – it ruined my chance of my dream job”

A man is “devastated” after being denied his dream job over a bad reference from his former manager – who claimed he was “unreliable”.

Worried young applicant with man looking at resume
They had been offered the job before their credentials changed everything (stock photo)

A man has claimed his dream job offer was withdrawn after his potential employer read his former boss’ reference – and thought he was “unreliable”.

The 19-year-old man’s mother told Mumsnet that he had recently applied for a job in a hotel abroad which had offered him fantastic benefits and was delighted when he was offered the job.

However, the offer came with the proviso that he would send references from two previous employers – meaning he would have to go back to an old boss he was having trouble with to ask for a reference.

That said the man’s mother He previously held two jobs at the same time, having one as his “main” job and the other – a zero-hour contract at a bar – he took occasional shifts when he wasn’t doing his main job.

They were labeled ‘unreliable’ by their old employer (stock image)


(Getty Images)

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Because he wasn’t always available right away, his manager at the bar described him as “unreliable” on his report card.

In her post, the man’s mother said: “My 19 year old was juggling 2 jobs. His main job was full-time in a restaurant. He also took a part-time job at a bar. It was always clear to him with the bar job that the restaurant was his main occupation and he could only work on the days when he was free in the restaurant. It was agreed that each week he would tell them the days when he was not in the restaurant. You agreed.

“Nevertheless the bar manager has started using him on days when he is said to be unable to work and insists he has to come in. He did his best not to let anyone down, but it was impossible. He decided to give priority to his day job and handed in his resignation at the bar.

“He was only there a month and did his job well. It was also a casual job without a real contract and it was 0 hours. In my opinion it works both ways – if you don’t even want to Offer reasonable hours or a contract that you cannot expect the employee to commit to and you prioritize if they have another contracted job.

The man’s mother then explained he had been offered the job at the hotel abroad but was taken back when they received the reference from the bar – as the manager had written a scathing reference.

She added: “He recently applied for a job as a receptionist for luxury hotels abroad, it was a brilliant opportunity with great pay, an amazing rewards program, education, housing, visa support and career advancement. They offered him the job.

“They wanted 2 references from 2 different jobs. Since the bar and restaurant jobs are the only jobs he’s had, he had to list the bar as one of the references. He figured that they would do that because he did the actual job well It would be fine just to list a short letter confirming that he actually worked there and completed his duties at work.

“The hotel withdrew their job offer after speaking to the bar. The bar informed the hotel that he left without a job notice and the hotel decided he was unreliable. This despite a glowing review from his other job.”

Now the man is “devastated” because he was keen to start his exciting new job in a foreign country.

The mother said: “My son is absolutely devastated. He has tried to explain the situation to the hotel but they don’t want to know about this young lad who could have literally changed the course of his life. I find it unimaginably cruel.

“He’s really disappointed, it was a job in his dream industry (he would love to get into hospitality) in his dream country.”

Can my employer issue me a bad reference?

An employer is not required to issue a reference, but if it does, it must be accurate and fair.

While it’s not inherently illegal to write a bad reference, explained An employee may contest a reference that they believe is unfair or misleading.

The government website states: “If the worker feels they have been given an unfair or misleading reference they may be able to seek compensation in court. The previous employer must be able to substantiate the reference, e.g. B. by providing examples of warning letters.”

To challenge the reference, the worker must be able to show that it was misleading or inaccurate and show that they “suffered harm” as a result – such as withdrawing a job offer.

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