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Employment references and the law

Engin Mustafa (Bradfield Group, Woking, United Kingdom.)

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 13 October 2014




This paper aims to examine whether employers are bound to provide references on former employees and the kinds of information they should contain.


It arrives at a set of conclusions through considering case law in England and Wales.


It explains why writing a reference is increasingly the responsibility of human-resource specialists in an organization.

Practical implications

It reveals that employers have a number of options, the choice between which will depend upon the organization’s aversion to risk and its balancing of the obligations felt to employees and their future employers.

Social implications

It considers that, in an increasingly risk-averse culture, more and more organizations are providing minimal information in references on former employees and avoiding value judgments.


It considers the state of the law in England and Wales as regards writing references on former employees.



Mustafa, E. (2014), "Employment references and the law", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 22 No. 7, pp. 39-42.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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