References and employment history

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

As a minimum, employers should seek at least one reference from the individual’s current or previous employer either via email or over the phone. 

Where references are provided over the phone, employers should record a written account and ask the referee to confirm that this is an accurate reflection of the information they have provided. This information should be retained and stored.

Where staff are moving from one department to another in the same organisation or moving to another NHS organisation, employers may wish to seek verification of factual information through ESR or other personnel system.

Where it is not practically possible for a reference to be obtained, for example, because the individual’s current or last employer has been forced to close temporarily because of the current pandemic situation, employers will need to base any recruitment decision on what information they can reasonably obtain about the individual through the wider range of checks.


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