Most employers request references on a prospective employee to verify, for example, information about his or her employment history.

While there is generally no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference on an employee or former employee to a prospective employer, when employers do respond to reference requests, they should aim to treat all requests consistently.

surprised young woman reading a bit of paper in office

How to avoid risk when providing employer references

Giving departing employees a reference should be a risk-free procedure. But there are potentially damaging pitfalls to avoid.

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Background screening: Eight key checks employers must make

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Withdrawing job offers: employers should make it clear if conditions such as references or proof of qualifications need to be met

Withdrawing job offers: the risks and how to limit them

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Employer withdrew job offer due to sickness absence

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An employment tribunal held that a nurse was the victim of discrimination arising from disability, after her prospective employer withdrew...

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Candidates sue LinkedIn over lost job opportunities

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LinkedIn is facing a class action lawsuit in California over its premium “reference search” function that allows employers to identify...

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Recruitment and dismissal in Europe: what employers need to know

8 May 2014

Recruitment and dismissal can be problematic for businesses, particularly when employers are unaware of the legal consequences of their actions....

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Vetting and barring changes 2012: three things employers need to know

5 Sep 2012

From 10 September 2012, a number of amendments to the vetting and barring scheme, which is designed to protect vulnerable...

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Legal opinion: Liability for statements about former employees

6 Jun 2011

It has long been accepted that an employer will owe a duty of care in respect of a reference given...

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Weekly dilemma: References for poor former employees

16 Nov 2010

I have received a reference request from an employee I was pleased to get rid of. Do I have to...

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Weekly dilemma: Pre-employment screening

15 Sep 2010

My company is gearing up for a round of recruitment. I realise people often exaggerate their employment history and experience,...

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Case of the week: Brown v Baxter and another t/a Careham Hall

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Brown v Baxter and another t/a Careham HallFACTSThe claimant, Emma Brown, worked as an assistant care manager at a residential...

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