Acas publishes new guidance on job references


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Acas has published new guidance on job references which assists employers and employees with the legal position. The advice is based around the typical questions that Acas receive on its helpline.

The guidance contains top tips including the advice that:

  • Employers should only seek a reference from a job applicant's current employers with their permission
  • A conditional job offer can be withdrawn if the job applicant doesn't meet satisfactory references
  • Job applicants who are unhappy with a reference can ask for a copy that was sent to their new employers and may be able to claim damages if they can prove it was misleading or inaccurate and resulted in the withdrawal of their job offer.

The guidance emphasises that there is usually no legal obligation to provide a reference, and stresses that employers who give references must make them fair and accurate, while those who ask for them must handle them fairly and consistently.

This article is taken from HR Law - September 2018.

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