Agreeing into a written reference could be truly tricky. However, it is the normal practice in a compromise agreement. Any reference provided by the employer must be accurate, true, and fair. How could you make sure the employer would be cooperative in assuring your other future employers that you are highly skilled and qualified? Is there a way to make the employer say only positive things about you? Should you appropriately include the employer in your future references?
The employer has no general duty to provide references to you or to any other employee. They should be accurate, factual, truthful, and not misleading if they opt to do so. Any employer is obliged to state only the facts if they provide reference to any employee. It is not ethical and not professional for an employer to twist facts and state biased, unfounded, and negative opinion. The agreement is the best tool for any employee to make sure the employer would be truthful and positive when providing references. You have to make sure the agreement is properly worded.
While the employee would always want to attain a positive reference, the employer might feel very uncomfortable with this. The employer might feel awkward in stating out lies. The compromise agreement would not require any employer to be a liar. The agreement could negotiate around bland statements that would not bring about worry and burden to one or both parties.
In a compromise agreement, both employer and employee could agree to financial terms and to wordings of references as cited in the document. Even after a dispute, if you have an agreed reference with your employer, as stated in the compromise agreement, you need not worry about what the employer might possibly say about you to a prospective new employer in any point in the future. That is why many employers find it very important to sort out clauses and terms about references in their compromise agreements.
On the part of the employer, agreeing to provide a reference as part of a compromise agreement could have logical pitfalls. An ex-employee could always file an action against a former employer for libel, defamation of character, and discrimination before an employment tribunal or a court, especially if there is an inaccurate reference provided. On the other hand, a new employer could still claim damages against a former employer if the employee proves to be incompetent and unsatisfactory. In a compromise agreement, a bland reference could do the trick so that an employer would not fall prey to one or both cases.
Thus, there are employers who offer only basic factual reference about an employee’s date of employment as well as job title. This is way better than having no reference at all. If you are considering getting into a compromise agreement with your employer, you should seek a legal and reliable guidance from an employment solicitor. You should be particular about the references provision and terms of the compromise agreement being offered to you before you sign the document.