As an employer of domestic staff you will either have been asked to provide a reference to a staff member leaving your employ, or have asked for a prospective candidate to provide a reference.
The normal procedure on seeking employment is to provide two references, one of these usually being the candidates existing or past employer.
But are YOU, as that employer obligated to provide a reference?
As always nothing is quite a simple as it seems. In essence, the answer is no you do not HAVE to (unless the person’s contract of employment specifies so) however, there are potential pitfalls here.
Let us say, you choose not to write a reference. The danger here is that a new prospective employer can read into this what they may and if the candidate is unsuccessful, they can take legal action against you with the Employment Tribunal, on the grounds of discrimination.
There are new criteria and assessment procedures being introduced which does, however, make it less easy for someone to file a spurious complaint.
If you write a bad reference, you could be in line for an action of defamation and being on the wrong end of a damages award if your actions are deemed to have unfairly mitigated against the person seeking new employment.
If you do write a reference, it has to be truthful and accurate and therefore if say, a disciplinary action has been taken against the employee, you have a right to mention this.
The person asking you for the reference does not have the right to ask to see it before it is sent, even though they may ask.
As always, we recommend that you seek professional advice before taking any actions .
The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.
Let us say, you choose not to write a reference. The danger here is that a new prospective employer can read into this what they may and if the candidate is unsuccessful, they can take legal action against you