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Ask the Experts: Job References

Question: What can and can't be written when writing job references?

An integral part of most recruitment processes these days will involve providing or asking for reference information. 

I'm always asked by businesses about the legal obligation to provide this information and what can and can’t be written.  I have answered some of the most popular questions below…..

Does my Company have to give me a reference?

No.  Your former employer is under no legal obligation to give you a reference.

However, if a reference is provided it should be fair and accurate.

Can I refuse to give me a reference for an employee?

Yes.  Companies are increasingly refusing to give references because they are worried about any legal action that this may incur.

Can I give a bad reference?

References provided have to accurate and factually correct.   So if you have an employee who has been dismissed this can include this information you provide.

What can an employee do if I provide a bad reference?

If the employee feels that the reference is factually inaccurate and this has harmed their job prospects they can take legal action.  However, they will have to show that the _:

-       information in the reference was misleading

-       providing this misleading information has had a negative effect on their future employment

-       you, as an employer, were negligent in providing a reference.


For further information please feel free to contact C4HR.


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