Hello there – hope you can help. I have a friend who has been looking for work as her current job is no longer suitable for her, following a work-related accident.

She has recently been offered a new job, (verbally), by a local authority and she was looking forward to moving onto a different role that she could manage.

However, after obtaining a reference from her current employer, the local authority withdrew their job offer saying that she was effectively unemployable having been given a verbal reference by my friend’s current manager. This refernce apparently went into quite some detail about my friend’s current physical abilities which he knew about as my friend considers her current employer to be liable for the accident and has had various medical assessments. The verbal feedback she got from the local authority included concerns that she was seeking compensation which the prospective new employers obviously consider a problem. The authority also told her that she shouldn’t try seeking new work until the issue about the accident is sorted out.

After seeking legal advice, my friend sent a letter to the local authority asking for full written details of the verbal reference given upon which they made their decision to withdraw the offer. The authority said that they couldn’t give that information without having written permission from the manager who gave them the information in the first place which, of course, he refuses to give.

This feels like gross injustice and, on the face of it, means that someone is blocking my friend’s fundemental human right to work. Has anyone got any sugesstions of where we can go with this please.

many thanks