Labour & European Law Review
24 November 2011
The government yesterday announced the “most radical reform to the employment law system for decades”.
In addition to launching consultations on reducing the minimum period for collective redundancy consultations and on the effectiveness of the TUPE Regulations 2006, it confirmed that it will also consult on introducing “protected conversations” early next year.
Employers owe ex-employees a duty of care when providing references, so they must be true, accurate and fair. In Jackson v Liverpool City Council, the Court of Appeal said that factual accuracy was a central requirement of the reference, whereas fairness related to the nuances or innuendo which might be drawn from the facts.
Employers are liable for the acts of their employees, as well as the acts of any "agents" who act with their authority, unless they can show they took all reasonable steps to prevent them from carrying out those actions. In Bungay and anor v Saini and ors, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) said that two board members had acted as "agents" for a religious centre and were therefore liable to pay compensation to two ex-employees.