The author of a reference owes a duty of care to the person about whom it is written and an employer may be liable for damages if, due to a negligent, defamatory or malicious reference, the person about whom the reference is written suffers a loss.

The employer must be accurate and fair but must not give a misleading impression. A good rule of thumb is that you do not write anything in a reference which you would not wish the subject of the reference to see.