Although departing employees and prospective employers expect references to be supplied as a matter of course in most cases there is no obligation to do that. If you do decide to give the employee a reference it must be true, accurate and fair but it must not give a misleading impression of the individual concerned. Equally, you owe a duty of care to prospective employers to ensure that a reference is not over generous. An employer who ends up with an individual who bears no resemblance to the reference could potentially sue the author for negligent misstatement. You should bear in mind that whilst references require to be true, accurate and fair, they do not necessarily have to be full and comprehensive....
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