Re: Bad references
"But it is NOT illegal to provide an HONEST reference..."
It is, however, important to distinguish between honesty and accuracy. You may honestly believe that the candidate is a lazy, arrogant shit, but unless you can unequivocally demonstrate that fact you are well into the realms of libel if you say such things to prevent them getting a job. It ticks every box in the relevant legislation.
It's for this reason that HR departments are so finnicky about references. Given that, alongside the rest of the documentation in the recruitment process, they're subject to disclosure under the DPA, it isn't worth the bother. Especially given how bad we all are at actual performance management.
Besides, it's pointless. We all know what "I'm not comfortable providing a reference for that person - you'll have to speak to HR" means.