After someone has left a job

Sometimes your responsibilities as an employer continue after someone has stopped working for you and you must still not discriminate unlawfully against them.

Read the Core guidance to make sure you know what this means. 

This section looks at how you can make sure you are not discriminating unlawfully in selecting people for redundancy, and in particular how this applies to references.

Apart from when you are asked for a reference for a former worker, other situations where you have a continuing relationship with them include if former workers receive any continuing benefits from you. These must not be withheld from someone if this would be unlawful discrimination.

If someone believes that they are being discriminated against after they have stopped working for you, they can take the same steps to have things put right as if they were still employed.

They may contact you and ask you to put the situation right. If it cannot be sorted out informally, then they can ask you to deal with their complaint using your usual grievance procedure.

They can also take a case to an Employment Tribunal.

Your duty to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled worker also continues after the person has stopped working for you.

For example:

Former workers are sent an annual newsletter. A reasonable adjustment might be for it to be made available in a format that makes it accessible to a former worker who has a visual impairment.

The duty exists only if the ex-worker was a disabled person when they worked for you.

What is reasonable in this situation may be different from what would be reasonable for someone who is still working.

You can read more about making reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for disabled people, including how to work out what is reasonable.

More information

Last Updated: 15 Jul 2010