While there is no legal requirement to provide references about people who are or were in their employment, employers have a duty of care to both the people who use their service and staff to ensure that all reasonable checks are undertaken.
The NHS Employers employment history and reference check standard (which provides a basis for good recruitment practice) advises that employers should seek references to confirm a minimum of three consecutive years of continuous employment or training prior to their application.
Further guidance, including when it’s not possible to validate a minimum of three consecutive years of continuous employment or training, can be found in our 'Safe and fair recruitment guide' (page 23).
In partnership with Better Hiring Institute, Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), Reed Screening, Dominic Headley & Associates (DHA), and VBA Consulting, we have created the Better Hiring Toolkit to help support you in safe, fair and effective recruitment. It includes guidance, resources and templates to help you gather information effectively and safely whilst following legal requirements. Visit the Better Hiring Institute website to find out more.