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Reference Policy

1.Introduction 

1.1.The purpose of references is to obtain information, in confidence, from a third party, providing a factual check on a candidate’s employment history, experience and or an assessment of the candidate’s suitability for the post in   question.

1.2.This policy outlines the Bestfostering Ltd.’s position on the provision of employment and other types of references for existing or former employees.

2.Scope 

2.1.This policy applies to all employees who have a contract of employment. 

  

3.Providing employment references

3.1.In general, the company aims to provide references for its employees and former employees, wherever possible. However, there is no obligation on an Employer to do this

3.2.All reference requests for current or former employees will be handled by the directors and it will be the company’s practice to provide a standard letter containing factual historic information only as set out in the attached Appendix 1 and containing the following detail:

3.2.1.Confirmation of employment dates;

3.2.2.Confirmation of post employed in;

3.2.3.Employment Status – i.e. permanent, temporary;

3.2.4.Reason for leaving, if known.

3.2.5.a statement regarding any disciplinary action, sickness absence and if any referrals have been made to any statutory, regulatory or professional bodies in relation to their employment

3.3.The company has a duty to the recipient (e.g. prospective employer) and to the employee. This duty is to take reasonable care and provide information that is true, accurate, fair, non-discriminatory and does not give a misleading impression.

3.4.It is therefore essential that the reference is based on facts which can be backed up by evidence if challenged. Opinions and subjective personal views which cannot be substantiated will not be included.

3.5.The company will ensure that all current employees are aware that this is the standard reference they would receive; that it applies uniformly to all employees and is not used as a means of concealing information and that questionnaires requesting subjective comment on abilities will not be completed.

3.6.“Safer Recruitment” guidance set out by the government suggests a level of information sharing between employers of social care roles to indicate suitability to work with children, hence related information being included in a reference statement where relevant.                

 

4.Duties and Responsibilities

4.1.All reference requests for existing or past employees should be directed to a director for completion.

4.2.The director is responsible for communicating and ensuring compliance  with this policy and is also responsible for the maintenance, regular review  and updating of this policy.

4.3.All individuals referred to within the scope of this policy are required to adhere  to its terms and conditions and should act in accordance with the principles set out. 

 

5.Other types of reference request

5.1.The company sometimes receive requests from banks, building societies or other financial organisations to verify an employee’s salary in support of a mortgage or loan application. Such requests should be forwarded to a director who will contact the employee to get approval (if it has not already been provided) before a response is given.  

6.Telephone or verbal references

6.1.All requests for a telephone reference will be refused by informing the person requesting the reference that the company’s policy is to respond to reference requests in writing only. 

  

7.Unsolicited references

7.1.Under no circumstances should unsolicited references be provided that are addressed 'to whom it may concern'. If exceptionally, such references are provided, e.g. for an employee moving to another country; they will be limited to factual statements made in accordance with the pro forma at Appendix A

7.2.Such requests should be forwarded to a director in any case. 

 

8.Confidentiality and disclosure of references

8.1.All references must be always kept confidential.

8.2.The requirements of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 will be observed in relation to the provision of employment references and access requests to view information held.

8.3.For the purposes of this policy all personal details regarding an employee, or ex-employee, provided for a reference will be made available to that employee, or ex-employee upon receipt of a written request from them. This will ensure any provisions under the DPA are met in full. 

  

  1. Requesting references for prospective employees

    1. The Group’s policy regarding the taking up of references on prospective employees is contained within the Recruitment and Selection Policy.

    2. The level of information which will be sought will be based on the general principles laid out on this document regarding seeking objective, factual information.  

  

 

Appendix 1 

 

Bestfostering Ltd’s standard response to employment reference requests 

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL  Name 

Address 

  

Dear NAME 

Re: Reference for NAME OF EMPLOYEE 

Further to your recent request for an employer’s reference. We have pleasure in confirming details of employment for NAME OF EMPLOYEE as requested. 

Capacity employed: Job Title  

Date employed: Employed From 

Date employment ended: Employed to   Status of Employment: Permanent or temporary

Reason for leaving:  

(Name of employee) has had or not had any disciplinary action taken against them within the last 12 months  

(Name of employee) has had ….. days sickness absence over ….occasions in the last 12 months  

There have been/no reports made to any statutory, regulatory or professional bodies in relation to (name of employee’s) employment,  

I do not know of any reason why (name of employee) should not be employed to work with children.   

It is the company’s policy to provide basic historical information in relation to former employees and not to give comment or opinions on abilities to perform a particular role.  

The provision of such information does not imply any comment, negative or otherwise, about the employee during the course of their employment with us. 

This reference is given in good faith and in confidence and only for the purpose for which it is requested. It is given on the understanding that it is without legal liability on behalf of the author or Bestfostering Ltd. 

Yours sincerely 

CREATED: January 2023

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