Do I have to give a reference?

Do I have to give a reference?

By Metis HR.

No, you do not have to give a reference. There is no statutory duty to provide an existing or recent past employee with a reference.

However, refusing to supply a reference can be risky. If you have an established policy of providing references any change to that may be seen as discriminatory.

Your contracts of employment may also already contain implied terms that you will provide a reference and this works both ways in that you have possibly taken the employee on with access to previous references.

Also you may have to give a reference as failing to document anything about the employee that could result in their next employer incurring a loss may be risky – you may have a negligence claim against you.

So, whilst legally you do not have to give a reference, you not only have a moral obligation to provide one, but also you will avoid potential HR trouble by doing so

So I can get away with giving the bare minimum?

Whilst it has become increasingly common recently for employers to provide basic and standardized references, this is also a dangerous policy if you do not ensure that:

1. It is communicated to all employees at the outset of their employment 2. It is provided universally and without prejudice 3. It is not used as a way of concealing or avoiding information Some industries (such as those regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) are legally required to supply specific information which exceeds more than bare minimum references to any other regulated employer.