The Case Of Spring And Guardian Assurance Plc And Others Essay examples

The Case Of Spring And Guardian Assurance Plc And Others Essay examples

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With the increase in demand for references amongst employers, the obligation of providing references for former/past employees has been a controversial subject. References are used to assess the work ethic, performance and experience of an applicant. Although this information is compulsory when applying for certain jobs, there are some cases were employers are not liable to provide this information. With the employers owing a common law duty of care to its employees, this paper will provide a critical evaluation for the liability of employers providing references for their former/past employees in relation to the tort of negligence. Furthermore, this paper will also discuss how this liability will differ regarding references given by universities to potential employers in respect of former students.

In respect of providing a reference, employers should make sure that the document does not contain any false statements. Looking at the case of Spring and Guardian Assurance plc and others, providing false or misleading information regarding the referee can be held liable for employers in relation to the tort of negligence. If there is any economic loss occurred in the process of this negligent act, the subject has the right to pursue legal action against the employer. Furthermore, this is in contrast with the case of Kidd and Axa Equity and Law Assurance Society plc, where Axa Equity failed to provide Kidd with a sufficient reference. The decision by the judge was given that once a reference was issued, it had to be honest and not mislead. However, there was no duty of care for the employer to provide a full comprehensive reference where it has to benefit the applicant, or satisfy the employer. Similarly, to universities providing re...


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... the employee.
Equivalently, in subject to universities providing information on the disciplinary action regarding a former student should not be mentioned unless it is directly applicable to the expectations of the job or course. Furthermore, if the referees responsibility and personal integrity is in relevance regarding the job, it is then acceptable for the referrer to mention the students’ poor behavior. (4)




By law, employers have no obligation in providing references for employees unless there was a previous written agreement or the employee is in a regulated industry. (5) The result of providing an unfair reference can lead to an economic loss by employees losing their jobs or unable to get hired in the first place. However, employers can also be liable for negligent misstatements given about ex employees, even if this wasn’t delivered in a reference form.

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