Singapore court awards man $3m after bad reference denies him new job

Published: 15.07.2019 Related countries:  Singapore Singapore

Man who worked with AXA Life Insurance as an adviser and agent, won an appeal against a High Court decision

Singapore court has awarded a man S$4 million ($2.96 million; Dh10.78 million) in compensation after an unflattering reference from his former employer, AXA Life Insurance Singapore, cost him an opportunity to work elsewhere.

Ramesh Krishnan, who worked with AXA Life Insurance as an adviser and agent from 2008 until 2014, won an appeal in July last year against a High Court decision, which dismissed his defamation and negligence suit against his former employer.

In a High Court ruling on Monday, Judge George Wei noted the Court of Appeal’s judgment last year that AXA had breached “its duty of care” in providing a reference check for Krishnan to Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, with whom Krishnan was seeking employment, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which regulates the insurance industry.

The Court of Appeal last year deemed the reference “incomplete, misleading and unfair” and noted AXA’s allusion to Krishnan’s low client persistency ratio, a gauge of insurance business retention, did not provide sufficient information on how this ratio was calculated.

It also said letters AXA sent to both MAS and Prudential alluding to potential ethical violations by Krishnan were baseless.