We have been asked by a former employee to provide a reference, are we required to do so?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 1 August 2017
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered:

Generally, there is no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an existing or former employee and employers are therefore generally entitled to refuse to provide a reference.

However, you should first consider your policy on this issue as the decision to give references or not, and what sort of information to include, should be consistent or it could lead to allegations of discrimination or a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence (in respect of an existing employee). Particular care must be taken to ensure that a refusal to provide a reference is not discriminatory because of any of protected characteristic.

If you choose to provide a reference, you should

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 01/08/2017

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email Chris.Fullerton@arthurcox.com

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