Providing references is increasingly a minefield for employers.  However in a rare case in favour of the employer, the Court of Appeal has held that a reference provided by a council suggesting that there may have been record-keeping issues with an employee but that these issues were never investigated, was true and accurate, even though it contained an allegation which was untested and unsubstantiated. 

The employee's claim for negligent misstatement therefore failed.

The employee had left with good references, but the reference subsequently produced prevented him from being offered a job and he was unemployed for 12 months.

Key point:  Although this case did go in favour of the employer, employers should be advised to tread carefully when providing a reference.  Factual references simply detailing the dates of employment and job title are increasingly common. 

Jackson v Liverpool City Council 2011