Can they refuse? I left a post 3 years ago and was on good terms and told i did a good job (on exit interview). Now Im after a reference and the manager has ignored all requests for 2 months. Isnt she obliged?
Do you mean employers? If so, I think they can refuse. They have also to be careful not to say very negative things, as they can be sued. But have you called? Usually, don't you put the contact on your CV and potential new employers contact them? Blimey, it's been a while since I did all this stuff....
No. They don't have to give a reference. In fact, nowadays more and more are refusing or restricting what info they are willing to give because it is simply so much hassle. Many of those who do, do no more than confirm dates of employment because if they say anything other than the employee was perfect in every way, they can end up with a solicitor on their arse. If you give a good reference and they turn out to be crap, expect something from the new employer!
If I was employing people nowadays, I would only give dates of employment. It's safer.
Perhaps part of the reason is that it was 3 years ago? Perhaps they don't give references after a certain length of time?
Why not call them and ask them? Speak directly to the manager.
do they have an HR department - I would get a contact there -I would speak to them to let them know the reference request- and then give that as the reference to your new employers. Punkatheart - often you put reference avaible on request - and I always check that people are happy to give a reference -and I have choosen someone from my old work who I know is reliable about getting back to people - some people are just rubbish about thinks like that
Quite a lot of employers now don't let you give references on headed paper or in company's name due to being sued. Either they give a good one and the employee is actually terrible. Or they give a bad one and the employee sues them for it. They can't win.
What you might do is ask your former boss to act as a personal reference if this is the case - no headed paper etc.
Have been out of english employment law for 5 years but I don't think they can refuse to confirm employment dates and your last position actually, within a reasonable time frame. They should have records within last three years.
Check on HR/Legal thread for up to date advice.
They are free not to coment what you were "like" at your job (ie if you were any good) but I think they have to give you the bear mininium re position and dates of employment.
On a personal basis I'm stuffed at moment as the last three companies I worked at all got taken over and I can't at moment get anyone to acknowledge I worked there on letter headed paper (ironically I was head of global HR!).