We have staff due to exit on voluntary redundancy. Some have written warnings in place for absence and other matters. If approached by future prospective employers, should we discuss or disclose these warnings or absence records or should we protect this information, given we would never disclose personal issues regarding existing employees? 

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 1 November 2016
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

There is no general preclusion from providing information relating to disciplinary records to prospective employers as part of an employee reference – provided that the information is accurate.

However, if it is the Company’s policy not to disclose such matters in references for employees, the Company should adhere to that policy and not disclose this information.  If the Company departs from its usual practice in giving references for a particular group of employees, the employees in question may challenge the Company and argue that they are being penalised / signalled out as against other employees.

Generally, with references, employers should adhere to a particular form of reference, containing set information, for every employee. If the prospective employer of the employees contacts the employer by telephone to obtain further information in relation to the prospective employees, the employer should continue to adhere to its reference policy and only provide the information that it usually provides as part of its policy. 

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The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

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