The new Acas guidance advises on the legal requirements for an employer providing work references for an applicant.
The guidance covers the following areas:
- Whether a reference must be provided – an employer has the choice of providing a reference and the amount of information they provide in the reference.
- What the employment reference can include – the reference can include basic facts such as job descriptions, answer to questions that the potential employer has asked such as absence levels and any details about the applicant’s skills and abilities. It can also include the strengths and weaknesses of an applicant in for the new role that they have applied for.
- Whether a bad reference can be given – the reference must be ‘accurate and ‘fair’ and they must not contain any ‘misleading’ or ‘inaccurate’ information.
- The issues involved with references – an applicant can request a copy of the reference sent to the new employer if they are unhappy with the reference.
To access the full guidance, please click here.