A Guide to Employee References

  • Price: £3.60
  • Published: November 2016
  • Type: Business Information Factsheet
  • Format: PDF

The purpose of seeking employee references is to verify with a third party the information provided by job applicants. References are used to check factual details about an applicant's previous jobs, such as the length of service and key responsibilities. They can also provide other useful information, for example whether the applicant was a good timekeeper, and their sickness record.

Employers who are recruiting staff should not use references to select a candidate - they should only use them to confirm their decision. See BIF 36, An Introduction to Recruiting Staff, for further information about the recruitment process.

This factsheet explains the implications of seeking and providing employee references. It outlines how references should be used, how and when to request them and the legal implications and limitations of any questions asked.

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