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Do I have to give Sue a good reference if I dismissed her for poor performance?

by , 05 September 2014
Let's say one of your employees, Sue, is a poor performer.

You then give her appropriate evaluation, instruction, training, guidance or counselling to help her to improve.

But after a reasonable period of time, Sue continues to underperform. You then decide to dismiss her.

But now you have a dilemma because you don't know whether or not you should give Sue a good reference when she leaves.

Read on to find out the answer so you'll handle this situation in a legal manner.


*********** New release ************
 
There are only three reasons you can fire an employee that the CCMA will consider 'fair' but there are hundreds of reasons you can fire an employee that's automatically 'unfair'!

Click here and I'll show you how you can dismiss fairly and legally!

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First, here's what you need to know about references 
 

What's a reference?


According to about.com, a professional reference is a reference from a person who can vouch for your qualifications for a job.

The site adds, 'a professional reference is typically a former employer, a colleague, a client, a vendor, a supervisor or someone else who can recommend you for employment.'

So, should you give a good reference to an employee you've fired for poor performance?

Let's find out…
 

Warning! You can't give Sue a good reference since you dismissed her for poor performance


Experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service say you should NEVER give an employee you've fired for poor performance a reference that says he was a good performer.

The reason you can't give a good reference is because you'll be misleading prospective future employers.

Basically, 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' You wouldn't be impressed if another employer gave you a misleading reference, so don't do the same thing.

In addition, giving Sue a good reference will also give her evidence she could use against you if he refers a dispute to the CCMA. You'll find it hard to explain why you fired her in the first place if you also claim she's good at her job in her reference.

The bottom line: Don't give a good reference to an employee you've fired for poor performance.

PS: We strongly recommend you check out the "You're Fired!" Your guide to substantive and procedurally fair dismissals. It has all the information you need to make sure your dimissals are legally compliant.

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