Although there is no standardised reference request, a few common questions include a confirmation of dates of employment (start and end date); a confirmation of the last job role in the company; salary; job responsibility; any issues of misconduct; a character reference; absence records; relationships with management and co-workers; rehire considerations; and the reason for leaving. Under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data can still be processed if the employer has a lawful basis for doing so. Employers are under no obligation to provide a reference, but those who do should be fair, truthful and accurate.

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