What is the law regarding references of an employee?

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There is no legal obligation on an employer to request a reference, although it is useful to at least obtain one reference from a former employer to verify work experience. 


In order to adhere to GDPR and data protection laws you must get proper consent fromt the prospective employee to approach a referee and ensure you consent with your own data protection policy and privacy notice.

How to complete an employee reference?

Before approaching a referee, you must obtain a written signed consent from the prospective employee. You may ask the referee to confirm:

  • Job title
  • Key responsibilities
  • Employment dates


You may also ask

  • If there are any live warnings
  • If there are any notable achievements
  • If there are any causes for concern or issues to raise

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