Share

Service users are put at risk by threadbare employee references, warn homelessness groups

Service users are put at risk by threadbare employee references, warn homelessness groups
News

Service users are put at risk by threadbare employee references, warn homelessness groups 1

Finance | 3 Dec 2010

Depaul UK and Broadway have urged charities to ensure they provide adequate references for former employees working with vulnerable people.

The homelessness organisations say that charities are currently only providing basic reference details such as job titles and dates of employment, for fear of reprisals.

They are concerned that references that provide little or no detail will lead to unsuitable job candidates being hired, which could put service users at risk.

Rachel Slade, PR manager at Depaul UK, said: “The concern is that references are all largely saying the same thing. There is nothing to distinguish between them.”

She added that this lack of detail prevents charities from picking up vital warning signs about rogue workers, stating references with such little detail was little better than not receiving a reference at all. 

Cherie Smartt, HR director at Depaul Trust, expressed concern that charities are adopting a minimal reference standard policy in order to reduce the risk of litigation.

She said: “We are growing increasingly concerned that this could lead to our already vulnerable clients being put at risk as it hinders robust employment screening.”

Smarrt said however that detailed references can be provided which include records of disciplinary action, without fear of reprisal. She added that as long as references are factually accurate charities are within their legal rights to provide details.

Criminal Records Bureau checks only declare whether a job candidate or employee has any criminal record, not whether they have undergone any disciplinary action in a job.

Employment law currently says that employers do not have to give a reference if their former employee’s contract does not stipulate this; however if references are given they do have to be factually accurate and not misleading.

Image courtesy of Depaul Trust

Michael Gaul
VP, Business Development
Proforma Screening Solutions
4 Dec 2010

I am compelled to respond to this article with details of a solution we've devised to address the shortfalls of typical reference checks. For the past year we have piloted an online reference verification system that enables supervisors, managers, and others to provide anonymous feedback without fear of reprisal to those who request reference verifications. The system has proven to deliver insightful feedback that goes beyond typical date-and-position verifications. You can learn more by visiting www.proformascreening.com/tru-view.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Barnardo's launches retail gift aid appeal

23 Jul 2014

Barnardo’s has launched an appeal to raise awareness of retail gift aid and the extra £6.5m that could...

Charity Bank loan approvals up 83 per cent

23 Jul 2014

Charity Bank has reported a sharp upturn in loan approvals, and has cited this as evidence that the sector’s...

Workfare charities set to be named after Tribunal rules against DWP

23 Jul 2014

Charities that are involved in the workfare programme run by the Department for Work and Pensions look...

Barnardo's launches retail gift aid appeal

23 Jul 2014

Barnardo’s has launched an appeal to raise awareness of retail gift aid and the extra £6.5m that could...

Charity Commission opens inquiry into Families Against Neuroblastoma

22 Jul 2014

The Charity Commission has frozen the bank accounts of Families Against Neuroblastoma and appointed two...

Cabinet Office overruled own grants panel to fund Big Society Network charity

21 Jul 2014

The Cabinet Office vetoed its own appointed grantmaking advisory panel in order to make a £300,000 grant...

Greenpeace video removed from YouTube following copyright claim

14 Jul 2014

A campaign video by Greenpeace against Lego’s relationship with Shell has been subject to a copyright...

Oxfam advert removed after appearing before extremist videos

10 Jul 2014

Oxfam has removed one of its adverts from YouTube after it was shown on channels showing content from...

Data protection proposals 'potentially catastrophic' for fundraising

8 Jul 2014

EU data protection proposals could have a “potentially catastrophic” impact on charity fundraising,...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<