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Acas Guidance on Employment References

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has guidance for job applicants and employers of the legal requirements appertaining to employment references.

Where a reference is provided, it must be accurate and fair. It must not include misleading or inaccurate information and should avoid giving subjective opinions or comments that are not supported by facts. Employers who ask for references must handle them fairly and consistently.

The topics covered by the guidance include:

  • Does an employment reference have to be provided?
  • What can an employment reference include?
  • When are employment references needed?
  • Job offers and references;
  • Can an employer give a bad reference?
  • Resolving problems with references.
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It is wise for employers to have a policy in place to help them overcome the risk of claims of a breach of the law when handling reference requests or references provided by a former employer.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.