January 21, 2016, by HR à la carte | Work Environment and Policies
Many companies have a policy against providing letters of reference for ex-employees. The thought process was that if they didn’t have anything positive to say about the employee, the negative reference could result in some sort of litigation. However, in the cases of employees who have been laid off or provided a severance package for a without cause termination, courts have determined that by not providing a letter of reference the employer has hindered the employee’s ability to find their next employment opportunity. In some cases, courts have even upped the severance amount payable or ordered damages to be paid to the employee as a result.
When you are asked by an ex-employee to provide a letter of reference here are some guidelines to help you:
Although providing references can sometimes be difficult, it is often the right thing to do. By keeping the reference factual, simple and to the point you will be able to make it a win-win situation for both the organization and the ex-employee.
Our HR newsletters help keep you up to date on managing employees in Canada