Employment Legislation

Will Employee References Become Mandatory?

Legislation

Will Employee References Become Mandatory?

Due Date

To be confirmed

Summary

The government is considering changing the rules on employee references to force employers to provide a reference for any former employee.

At present, there is no requirement to provide references unless a business operates within certain regulated sectors or it’s in writing that an employer has agreed to provide one. The government proposal was announced by business secretary Andrea Leadsom and forms part of the government’s response to a parliamentary inquiry into the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in discrimination cases.

Business secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The overwhelming majority of businesses comply with the law, treating their employees with respect and fairness.

“But we cannot tolerate the small minority that use nasty tactics like non-disclosure agreements and withholding references to pressure employees into silence, often in cases of serious wrongdoing. These proposals ensure individuals are protected, striking a fair balance between the interests of employers and workers.”

When providing a reference, employers should ensure that information provided is accurate and fair to avoid any claims from ex-employees.

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