Em­ploy­ers warned over job ref­er­ences

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need to be cau­tious when dis­clos­ing in­for­ma­tion about em­ploy­ees to po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers, work­place lawyers warn.

They say pro­vid­ing an em­ploy­ment ref­er­ence is a nor­mal step in the re­cruit­ment process but it can lead to claims of mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion, defama­tion and in­va­sion of pri­vacy from the for­mer em­ployee.

Harm­ers Work­place Lawyers se­nior as­so­ciate Peter Fer­raro says there is a fine line be­tween pro­vid­ing too much or not enough in­for­ma­tion about a can­di­date’s skills, pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence and abil­ity.

He says ref­er­ees should stick to the ba­sic facts, es­pe­cially i f pro­vid­ing an un­favourable ref­er­ence.

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