In Legal & General Assurance Ltd v Kirk  IRLR 124 CA, the Court of Appeal held that a case based on negligent misstatement must involve a statement, such as a reference, to a third party. It ruled that the duty to take reasonable care in preparing references does not extend to cover a situation in which no negligent reference has in fact been given.
In Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police v Khan (11 October 2001), the House of Lords has ruled that it is not unlawful victimisation to refuse to provide a reference in respect of an employee because the employee has a pending discrimination claim against the employer and the employer needs to preserve its position in the outstanding proceedings.
In Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police v Khan, the House of Lords holds - unanimously - that an employee was not victimised when his employer refused to provide him with a reference for new employment while race discrimination proceedings brought by the employee were continuing.
In Cox v Sun Alliance Life Ltd, the Court of Appeal holds that an employer was, through one of its employees, in breach of its duty to take reasonable care to provide an accurate and fair reference for a former employee, who resigned before the employer had completed pending disciplinary proceedings involving investigations into allegations of misconduct.
In Kidd v Axa Equity & Law Life Assurance Society plc and another  IRLR 301 HC, the High Court held that the duty of care in respect of the provision of references extends to taking reasonable care not to give misleading information.
In Coote v Granada Hospitality Ltd (No.2) a Stratford employment tribunal (Chair: J Cole) has upheld on its merits the victimisation complaint by a woman who claimed that she had not been given a reference by her former employer because she had brought a discrimination complaint against them.
A woman who was given an unfair reference by her line manager because she had brought earlier sex discrimination proceedings was unlawfully victimised, rules a Bedford employment tribunal (Chair: D Crome) in Capeling v Secretary of State for Environment and Transport.
In Coote v Granada Hospitality Ltd (No.2) (19 May 1999) EOR87B, the EAT rules that it is possible to construe the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 so as to enable a claimant to make a victimisation complaint in respect of events that occurred after the employment relationship had terminated.
An employer did not act in breach of its common law duty of care in providing a reference for a former employee which stated that, when he had taken voluntary severance, he was suspended from work because of a charge of gross misconduct, but that disciplinary proceedings had lapsed automatically when his employment terminated, holds the Court of Appeal in Bartholomew v London Borough of Hackney.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to providing references.