Guidance Notes – Giving References
These Guidance Notes - Giving References explain the issues which employers need to consider in providing references for both employees and ex-employees.
Essentially, there is no legal requirement for an employer to give a reference, but any reference given by an employer for a current or past employee must be true, fair, accurate and not misleading.
These Guidance Notes - Giving References explain the context for, and suggested content of, references and looks at duty of care, data protection, liability and potential discrimination issues. Employers should comply with data protection requirements by ensuring that a reference request is genuine and that the employee/ex-employee wishes the reference to be provided. Employers should ask an employee for express consent to retain information and process it for the purpose of providing future references. Employers can seek an employee’s agreement to provide work references by asking them to complete a form or by covering this matter as part of the exit interview process. There are Simply-Docs documents available covering both eventualities.
In this Simply-Docs suite of documents, there is also a Request for Employer Reference letter, which requests a reference from an applicant’s previous employer. In addition, there is a Reply to Request for Employer Reference letter, which gives a suggested letter format for employers to use in giving a reference. This letter template can be used to confirm the job description and length of employment of a previous employee.