A reference is often requested as part of the recruitment process. However, in most cases there is no legal obligation to provide a reference.
Employers providing reference must ensure that they are fair and accurate, but most importantly factual. There is a common belief that an employer cannot give a bad reference, but this is untrue.
A reference can include;
- Basic facts about the job applicant including employment dates and duties/responsibilities.
- Answers to questions that are prospective employer has specifically asked.
- Details about the job applicants skills and abilities.
- Details about the job applicant’s character, strengths and weaknesses.
A previous employer will normally be asked to provide a reference, but a previous manager and/or colleague might also be asked to provide reference details.
An employer should make sure that references are not opinion based, but factual. A reference should be based on fact where the information is substantiated.
Quite recently Atom HR have dealt with a number of cases where a reference has been challenged by an individual, and the organisation involved being then subject to legal action.
If you need further advice on the provision of references please do not hesitate to contact Atom HR for further advice.