Database craziness – it’s not just the government

Shop staff who have been sacked or resigned while under suspicion of dodgy behaviour could soon struggle to find work, as some of the UK’s top retailers are set to share information online about their employment history.

As The Register notes, you can be listed on the database if you have “left a job while under mere suspicion” of dodgy deeds. As the TUC says:

this register could lead to people being excluded from the job market by an employer who falsely accuses them of misconduct or sacks them because they bear them a grudge. An individual may not be aware they have been listed and have no right of appeal.

4 thoughts on “Database craziness – it’s not just the government

  1. mupwangle says:

    I was under the impression that employers were only allowed to give factual references and that giving a bad reference without any evidence was illegal under employment law (this was advice I was given when a manager told me he would give me a bad reference just cos he didn’t like me – this was confirmed by the company’s HR). Surely this is the same thing?

  2. Gary says:

    Yeah, I thought the same thing. Not entirely sure what the legal situation is; presumably you could use an access request to see what’s on the database about you?

  3. mupwangle says:

    Yeah, but that would only occur to you if you got turned down for lots of jobs for no apparent reason.

  4. Squander Two says:

    > I was under the impression that employers were only allowed to give factual references and that giving a bad reference without any evidence was illegal under employment law

    I thought it wasn’t that it’s illegal per se, more that it leaves the firm wide open for a civil suit.

    > presumably you could use an access request to see what’s on the database about you?

    Definitely. Unlike the Government, these firms are covered by the Data Protection Act. So, yeah, there’s access requests, but isn’t there also something about not being allowed to use that information for a purpose other than that for which it was originally gathered? So they’ll be adding disclaimers to that effect to new employment contracts, I’m sure, but that won’t cover existing contracts.

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