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References - giving them, do I have to?

(8 Posts)
drowninginlaundry Mon 24-Oct-11 18:36:41

Does anyone know what the correct position is on references for former employees
I understood that I am under no obligation to provide one, is this true? The employee in question only worked for 6 weeks, and I would not employ this person again. I am being inundated with requests for written references, typed and signed and mailed, which is a pain in the but on its own, for jobs that this person is not suited for based on my experience. Is it worse to provide no reference at all, or to give a short factual one stating only the dates the person worked and job title?

NatashaBee Mon 24-Oct-11 18:44:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

An0therName Mon 24-Oct-11 18:51:16

I would give a short factual one - that is quite common -
also ask at what stage the application is at - if its a job offer - then give a reference as above - if its applicaiton say if that person is offered a job then you will give a reference

mollymole Mon 24-Oct-11 19:26:45

A lot of jobs insist that you get a reference from your 'last employer' as this is you it is not very fair if you do not do this. You can just give a standard, factual record of the dates of employment - write one and print it out - or email it.

MindtheGappp Mon 24-Oct-11 19:28:03

You can give just the dates worked and salary.

You don't have to write anything qualitative and shouldn't write anything negative.

prh47bridge Mon 24-Oct-11 20:31:37

You do not have to give a reference at all. I'm not sure that Mollymole is right about a lot of jobs insisting on a reference from your last employer. In my experience most ask for a reference from a previous employer but don't stipulate that it must be the last employer.

If you work for a company you should check company policy.

There seems to be a common belief that an employer cannot give a negative reference. This is untrue. Whilst the subject could try to sue you for libel they would be unlikely to succeed as a reference is subject to qualified privilege, which means they would have to show that your comments were made out of malice. Of course, not giving a reference at all removes the possibility that the ex employee would even attempt to sue for libel.

drowninginlaundry Mon 24-Oct-11 21:27:45

thank you. It's actually two different employees, one worked for us in a personal capacity and the other for my (limited) company, both very short term and part time. As an employer, if I gave someone a job based on a glowing reference which turned out to be false, and the employee turned out to be a liability, I would think I'd have grounds to go after the previous employer - referee - with regards to cost of training, cost of lost sales etc? What is the law on this I wonder?

I am going to just write factual references from now on, on email, take it or leave it.

LoveBeingAWitch Tue 25-Oct-11 07:35:10

Just state x worked from date - date.

Dome people will send you some questions to answer and some won't, you can if prefered just send your statement so maybe print a master copy grin

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