Employers who are considering making an offer of employment may request information from previous employers to help determine an individual’s suitability for employment.
Employers are not legally obliged to provide a reference for a former employee, but if provided should be factually correct as the information contained within a reference is covered by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
An employee who feels that a former employer has provided an inaccurate and unfair reference may, using the Grievance Procedure, raise a complaint in writing with their employer.
The Information Commissioner provides guidance for employers on GDPR compliance here.
The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.
The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.
While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.