Employment references and the law

Engin Mustafa
  • Human Resource Management International Digest, October 2014, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/hrmid-10-2014-0143

Employment references and the law

What is it about?

This paper aims to examine whether employers are bound to provide references on former employees and the kinds of information they should contain and examines the potential liability of employers through considering case law in England and Wales.

Why is it important?

It provides guidance to employers and human resource specialists so that they can reduce potential organisational liability in them provision of references.


Mr Engin Mustafa
Kingston University

This article explains why writing a reference is increasingly the responsibility of human-resource specialists in an organisation. It reveals that employers have a number of options, the choice between which will depend upon the organisation’s aversion to risk and its balancing of the obligations felt to employees and their future employers. It considers that, in an increasingly risk-averse culture, more and more organisations are providing minimal information in references on former employees and avoiding value judgements.

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The following have contributed to this page: Mr Engin Mustafa