When you leave does your employer HAVE to give you a reference?
Usually, when seeking employment you are expected to provide two references, one of these usually being your existing or past employer.
But is your employer obligated to provide a reference?
As always nothing is quite a simple as it seems. In essence, the answer is no they do not HAVE to (unless your contract of employment specifies so).
If they choose NOT to write a reference there is the possibility that your prospective employer can interprete this negatively. You are then entited to seek legal action with the Employment Tribunal, on the grounds of discrimination.
If they write a bad reference, you can seek action for defamation and damages if the employer’s actions are judged to have unfairly mitigated against you.
A reference has to be truthful and accurate and therefore if, for example, a disciplinary action has been taken against you, your employer does have a right to mention this.
You do not have the right to ask to see the reference.
The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.