Verbal References; a Thing of the Past

Verbal References, a Thing of the Past?


When an employee leaves their job in most cases it is amicable and the employer is more than happy to give them a decent reference to take to their next employer.


However, when things haven’t gone quite as planned an employer might not want to give a reference or even consider giving a bad reference if asked by the employee’s potential new employers.


The previous employer can state factors about the employee’s performance and also whether they were sacked. Something to bear in mind though is if the employee is given a job they are entitled to see any references given. If the employee considers it to be inaccurate he or she can challenge the reference and could seek legal advice and claim damages through the court.


Verbal references are no different in as much as the potential new employer could be making notes which again, if the employee is given the job, they are entitled to see what has been said.


The House of Lords has decided that an employer also has a duty of care to an employee when providing a reference. An employer giving a reference that contains inaccuracies whether it be written or verbal, could be sued for negligence if it has a negative impact on the employee.


Some businesses have changed their policies to prohibit the giving of verbal reference which seems quite a sensible stance.


We hope that this has helped you but if we can be of any further assistance please get in touch with us.