Rights to see contents of reference by current employer

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oldmisery | 16:01 Fri 17th Sep 2010 | Law
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Can an employee of a company demand to see the content of a reference sent to a prospective new employer?.

The new employer is a national supermarket who have opened in the area .
The existing employer is again a national supermarket chain, who are unhappy with the numbers of applicants from within their own organisation applying for vacancies in the newly opened competitors store.
To ensure that honest references are furnished, can the employees seek to view their references and can the employer refuse.


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The employer providing the reference is NOT obliged to provide the employee with a copy.

The employer receiving the reference SHOULD provide all FACTUAL information, contained within the reference, (such as information about employment dates and absences from work) to the employee upon their request.

If the reference contains OPINIONS, as well as facts, the receiving employer should ask the person who provided the reference for permission to reveal those opinions to the employee. However, even if permission is refused, the new employer should still release such information unless a valid reason can be identified for keeping it confidential.

From the Information Commissioner's Office:

Question Author
Many thanks Buenchico,
I can pass this information on. also the gen from the I.C.O.

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Rights to see contents of reference by current employer

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