Reference Checks for Current and Former Employees

Policy

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Reference Checks for Current and Former Employees
Division: N/A
Policy Number: CA.52.01.120
Effective Date: December 12, 2011

POLICY STATEMENT

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) will release employment references on current or former employees to prospective employers only with permission of the individual involved. The information released should be without bias and in confidence to the potential employer. If permission for the employee, former or current, cannot be confirmed, references will not be provided.

WDGPH will respond reasonably to reference checking requests while protecting the legitimate interests of WDGPH and current or former employees. References are to be based on information in the individual’s personnel file, including documented performance appraisals and other related documentation that a former or current employee is aware of. Where potential liability exists, it is recommended that the Supervisor contact Human Resources (HR) before disclosure.

WDGPH also seeks references on candidates who apply for positions with WDGPH.  Refer to the policy CA.52.01.109 Recruitment and Selection for further information.  

SCOPE

This policy applies to all current and former employees of WDGPH

RESPONSIBILITIES

Management will:
  • Ensure permission is received from the current or former employee before disclosure of information;
  • Provide accurate information that is unbiased and in confidence to external organizations/ individuals;
  • Answer only the questions were direct knowledge of the current or former employee can be provided;
  • Additional information provided should be based on the information in the current or former employee’s personnel file, e.g. performance appraisals, attendance records;  and
  • Seek advice from HR if unsure.
Human Resources will:
  • May assist Supervisors by providing guidance;
  • Provide reference without bias and/or in confidence to external organizations/individuals;
  • Provide reference based on information documented in a current or former employee’s file; and
  • Check reference letters directly with the person signing the letter for accuracy to protect the interests of WDGPH.

DEFINITIONS

Reference check – helps confirm information on the candidate’s application form and résumé. Assists the external organization/individual in gaining greater insights into the candidate’s skills, knowledge and abilities from someone who has actually observed the candidate perform. References may also be requested for student employees.

Former employee – an employee who was previously employed at WDGPH who has resigned or been terminated and is no longer an employee.

Current employee – a permanent full-time, permanent part-time, casual or temporary employee who is presently employed with WDGPH.  

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure:  CA.52.02.120 Reference Checks for Current and Former Employees
CA.52.01.109  Recruitment and Selection
CA.58.01.101 MFIPPA
Ontario Human Rights Code

APPROVED BY

Carole Desmeules


Procedure

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Reference Checks for Current and Former Employees
Division: N/A
Procedure Number: CA.52.02.120
Effective Date: December 12, 2011

PROCEDURE

These procedures will ensure consistency while protecting the legitimate interests of WDGPH and current employees.

  1. Managers are responsible for providing reference information to external sources. Human Resources (HR) may assist Managers.
  2. Managers and HR may respond to requests for references only to the extent that their comments are supported by documented information in the HR employee’s personnel file. Unsupported commentary may not be provided as reference information to external sources.
  3. If a reference request is received from an external organization regarding a current employee, the Manager or HR will contact the employee and request permission to release reference information. The employee will provide a written consent to release the reference information which will be kept on file in HR.
  4. Once confirmed, the Manager will advise the external source they can provide a reference.
  5. If the reference request is received from an external organization regarding a former employee, the Manager should consult with HR to determine what information if any may be released.
  6. If the Manager is uncomfortable providing a reference, they should contact HR to assist and provide guidance.
  7. Should there be no documented information available in the HR files, only dates of employment and the position title may be provided as a reference.
  8. All reference information given to external sources must be documented and maintained in the HR personnel file of the terminated or current employee.
  9. If a written reference is requested the Manager can prepare the letter, complete a form if provided by the external sources and review the information with HR prior to sending out the information. 

 

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Policy:  CA.52.01.120 Reference Checks for Current and Former Employees
CA.52.01.109  Recruitment and Selection
C A.58.01.101 MFIPPA
Ontario Human Rights Code

APPROVED BY

Carole Desmeules