As an employer, part of your role is to provide employment references for your employees. You could be in a position of making or breaking their next move. It may be tempting to try to provide a reference that does not reflect your employees in a good light, as a way to holding on to them. Or you may be glad to see the back of them and want to portray this to the new employer.
This blog is intended to guide you in avoiding employment reference traps.
Unless it is in the employment contract, you are not under a legal obligation to provide an employment reference. It is good business etiquette to provide one.
What to say in a reference
It is best to stick to the facts in your reference and avoid opinions.
For example, you have a member of staff who takes above average sick leave, and this has had a detrimental effect on their job. Further, they do not have an ongoing medical condition that explains their absence and they are taking advantage of your business.
You can state in the reference what percentage of sick time they have taken, but you cannot say you think they were ‘faking’ it because you do not have evidence to back this claim.
Some employers adopt a ‘say something good or say nothing’ approach, but this does not help always help other businesses. You want them to know the good and the bad about a person if you have seen it yourself.
The best option and the safest option is to have a company policy that provides the bare minimum factual information in a reference. This includes employee’s role, salary, and the employee period of employment.
The less you say, lower the chance that an ex-employee making a legal claim against your business.
Please feel free to contact Southside Accountants in Wimbledon, Mitcham, and surrounding areas.