Being asked for a reference is a common occurence but employers should always take extreme care when replying.
A simple information request about an employee’s work history can be a great opportunity to get “your revenge” on a trouble maker who wreaked havoc in teh company, but commonplace usually prevails and the company’s standard reference form is completed as per your company policy.
Care should be taken when completing references including:
- If you provide a reference, it has to exercise reasonable care and skill to ensure that the reference is true, accurate, fair and not misleading
- A duty of care to both the recipient and the person who is the subject matter of the reference is required
- Data protection principles need to be adhered to when giving personal information about sickness abscenc
If in doubt, remember, employers do not have to give a reference at all.
To see information of a recent case in the High Court concerning the provision of a reference and how it breached data protection rules visit the CIPD website.