Respond to a reference request from a prospective employer

Key points

  • With a few exceptions, there is no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference on an employee or former employee to a prospective employer.
  • When responding to reference requests, the employer should aim to treat all requests consistently. If it has a policy on how to respond to a reference request - for example, limiting the type of information that it will provide - the employer should stick to the policy.
  • The employer should ensure that it complies with its duties under the Data Protection Act 1998 when providing a reference.

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