ACAS Launches New References Guidance

ACAS have issued guidance on employer references which includes confirmation that there is no legal obligation on an employer to issue a reference and no stipulations as to what should be included.

However, ACAS make the point that any references issued must be fair and accurate, and they stress the importance of consistency.

What does this mean for you?

You need to make sure that you (and your managers) adopt a consistent approach to references in order to avoid a claim for discrimination. It is advisable to have a template reference that you stick to unless there is a good reason to deviate. The template reference might include factual information such as start date, end date, job title and key duties. If you wish, it might also include salary information and reason for leaving.

You can give a bad reference provided that the information contained is factual and accurate – not based on hearsay or opinion. If you have followed a disciplinary process and recorded a warning or dismissal on an employee’s personnel file then you can include this in the reference provided that you do this consistently for all leavers.

New Dawn Resources are specialists in providing human resources and employment law advice for employers across Yorkshire. To learn more about how we can help your business, give us a call on 01484 680098 or email [email protected] and one of our qualified HR Business Partners will be happy to help.