Due to increased fear of litigation, many employers now refuse to give detailed references, and restrict what they will provide to prospective employers to a statement of employment on length of service and job title. However, as long as information given by way of a reference can be relied upon and supported by evidence, there should be no fear of revealing such information. For example, if the referee informs a prospective employer that a candidate had a high level of absenteeism, and records exist to support this, then the referee can stand over their statement. If, however, the referee does not have records in this regard, then the employer may be legally exposed.
There are additional legal considerations including defamation and the duty of care.