It looks like your browser is outdated. Some features on this website may not function correctly, please consider updating.

If an employment dispute settles, quite often one of the terms is that the employer will provide an agreed reference to prospective employers. Even if there is no agreement, an employer has a duty of care to provide a fair and impartial reference for all their employees.

This does not mean that an employer is never allowed to say anything negative about an employee, but if they do, they must ensure that the negative comments do not provide half the story or mislead the prospective employer.

Unfortunately, this does not always happen and if an employer does provide a misleading reference, which leads to the prospective employer withdrawing their job offer, this can lead to a claim for negligent misstatement and/or breach of contract

You can normally claim for the earnings that you have lost through the job offer being withdrawn. In order to bring a successful claim, you will need to prove that the reference provided by your employer was either wrong or misleading and that it was this reference that caused the prospective employer to withdraw their job offer.

You do have a duty to keep your losses as low as possible, so you should keep looking for a new job and keep a record of all the jobs you apply to and any responses you receive.

Time Limits

There are strict time limits to bring a claim for breach of contract or negligence. That time limit is normally 6 years from the date of the breach or negligent act, which in this case would normally be the date that the reference was given. This means that if you believe that your employer has provided a misleading reference, you should not delay in making an enquiry of our expert team, who will be able to advise you on all aspects of your claim.


Once we have assessed your claim, we can offer several funding options. We often accept claims on a no win, no fee basis, where you only pay our costs if we win and which you can read more about on our funding page. We can also offer discounted fees and other funding methods where appropriate.

View Our Business Advice Rates
Contact our friendly legal team to learn how we can assist you.
Submit Your Enquiry

In the news

Learn about the latest news and updates within the legal industry.

The Law Society
ISO Accreditation