Employment Reference Letter Template

This employment reference letter template is a letter from a former employer that provides a work and/or character references about an individual applying for a new job role. Read more
Legislation GB-EAW
Topics Updated by a lawyer: 13 Mar 2024

What is an employment reference letter template?

The basics: this employment reference letter template is a letter that can be used to provide a work and/or character reference about a former employee to a new prospective employer. When an employer provides a reference, it must be accurate and fair. The employer giving the reference can decide how much information they include in the reference.

Work vs. character reference: A job reference letter can include:

  • a work reference – also known as a professional or factual reference; and/or
  • a character reference - which is information about the individual’s personal characteristics and traits.

When do I need to use an employment reference letter template?

Is a reference mandatory?: An employer does not have to give a job reference by law unless it's:

  • in writing that the employer will provide one; or
  • for certain financial services jobs regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) – usually for jobs known as 'controlled functions’.

Standard practice: however, although not always mandatory, it is often common practice to provide references for former employees when they are applying for new job roles. Where a reference is requested and the employer agrees to provide one, we recommend using our employment reference letter template to ensure that all necessary information is provided in a fair and accurate manner.

What does this employment reference letter template include?

  1. Work reference: this section provides information about the individual’s former employment, including:
  • the employee's job title;
  • dates of employment;
  • details about their skills, abilities and experience;
  • the employee's sickness or absence record – it should not include absences related to disability or to parental rights, for example, maternity leave;
  • any current, relevant disciplinary records; and
  • the reasons for leaving the job.
  1. Character reference: this section provides information about the individual’s personal characteristics. It is usually provided by someone who knows the applicant well and will include:
  • how they know the applicant;
  • how long they've known them;
  • details about their character and personal strengths – for example, communication or leadership skills; and
  • the applicant's suitability for the new role.

What are the benefits of using this employment reference letter template?

Reference requirements: references must not:

  • be misleading;
  • include irrelevant personal information; or
  • be discriminatory.

Fair and accurate: All details in the job reference letter about the person, their role or performance must be fair and accurate. If opinions are provided in the reference, there should be evidence to support the opinion. For example, if you say that someone has good leadership skills, you could support that by saying that they previously ran a team of three people.

Using Docue’s employment reference letter template can be a key way to ensure only relevant information is included in the job reference letter, and that references are provided in a consistent format across your business.

Why Docue?

Fully customisable: Docue’s employment reference letter template has been drafted and is maintained by lawyers. Simply click through the intelligent tick box options and text box answers, and you’ll have a fully customised job reference letter in no time at all.

Use Docue’s electronic signature: Once you have created the job reference letter, you can sign it electronically and then store it using Docue’s smart storage feature.

Tags: employment reference letter template, job reference letter, recommendation letter for employee from manager, reference letter for employee leaving

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Legislation GB-EAW
Topics Updated by a lawyer: 13 Mar 2024

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