What are the duties of an employer if it supplies a reference?

An employer owes a duty of care to the intended recipient of the reference to ensure that it is true, accurate and fair, and does not give a misleading impression. It could be sued by the recipient if it gives a negligent or careless reference which subsequently results in financial loss to the recipient. The employer also owes a duty to the ex-employee to take reasonable care in the preparation of the reference. If, for example, the employee fails to secure a new job because of an inaccurate or misleading reference, he or she will be able to sue his or her ex-employer for damages.