In our first article on References here we look at whether Employers have to seek references about employees when recruiting and whether there is a legal obligation for a previous employer to give a reference to their ex-employee?
Includes….. Is there a legal obligation for a previous employer to give a reference to their ex-employee?
There is no legal right for a employer (the referee) to provide a reference about an ex-employee, whether the request is from the ex-employee, another employer or a bank or a landlord, unless this was a requirement of their employment contract.
However, if an employer is regulated by the Financial Services Authority and they receive a reference request relating to a former employee who was an ‘approved person’, whose new role will include performance of a ‘controlled function’, the employer is obliged to respond as soon as reasonably possible, and to provide all the relevant information.
An employer may also have an obligation to provide a reference for a former employee if they have agreed to do so under the terms of a compromise agreement (which is a mutual agreement that the employee’s employment is to be terminated). In these circumstances, specific wording to be included in the reference is often agreed between the parties when drawing up the compromise agreement.