Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why can't I send a reference request directly to my ex-boss?
A: When you request your employment details from you ex-employer, to be specific it is NOT
a reference request. It is a data request. The reason for the data request is custody, not reference. Only when
you share the data with a third party, such as a prospective employer, are you giving a reference. So, with that out
of the way, here is why you can't send an email to your ex-boss directly: the reason you are able to get this data is becuase you
are making a request under GDPR's Subject Access Request. A SAR request is legally fullfilled by the company's Data Protection Officer, not your ex-boss or HR manager. We as the platform are there to ensure
the request goes to a valid email address for the company you mentioned. That is why we are responsible for validating the reference email address. Our moto is: you
ask the references; your ex-employer confirms or disputes; we keep keep the scores.
Q: My ex-employer is asking for additional proof of consent before confirming my reference. What should I do?
A: Generally you should attempt to comply, so long as the requested proof is not excessive and a cheap attempt to deny access.
To be clear, there are no hard and fast rules about what qualifies as adequate consent. Most recruitment agencies are happy to confirm the references if you
send a consent email from an email that they already officially transacted with you, i.e your usual email. That is why Joblock sends a template Consent Request email to your registration email whenever you send a reference request. Unless if consent is already given, you should
copy that email and send it to your ex-employer's reference email (usually GDPR email). That email explains the request and confirms you need your references ported to your Joblock profile. Corporates, however, normally ask for further proof of ID and consent before confirming a reference, usually in the form of a copy of the passport or proof of address. If your ex-employer is making unreasonable demands, please contact our support
Q: What if my old employer is not in Joblock database?
A: No problem. Simply create a new company record. Add all the information that you know, and if necessary put some notes to help
us quickly validate the company details. Although you can use the newly-created company record to create a reference request record, you can't send the reference request until the
reference email address of the company is validated. Our team endvevours to complete the verification in 24 hours. If you're in a hurry, or it's just taking to long
for you, please contact our support team firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Can my ex-employer simply refuse to confirm my employment details on Joblock?
They will be breaking the law. Your ex-employer is obliged by law to give with you your personal data, and that includes reference data. Here is what GDPR Article 20 Right to data portability
The data subject shall have the right to receive the personal data concerning him or her, which he or she has provided to a controller, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the right to transmit those data to another controller without hindrance from the controller to which the personal data have been provided, where:
- the processing is based on consent pursuant to point (a) of Article 6(1) or point (a) of Article 9(2) or on a contract pursuant to point (b) of Article 6(1); and
- the processing is carried out by automated means.
- In exercising his or her right to data portability pursuant to paragraph 1, the data subject shall have the right to have the personal data transmitted directly from one controller to another, where technically feasible.
Q:What if the employer say they have standard procedures for giving references?
There’s a lot wrong with that response. Here’s two of them:
- Stricty speaking, these are NOT employment references: this is simply your personal employment details that you need to be transferred to your unique profile hosted on a third-party data processor. They just happen to be useful as references as well. References is when an individual’s employment data is transferred from one trusted source (e.g ex-employer) to a third-party (next employer) for the purpose of the third-party using that data for decision-making, such as whether or not to give you a job offer. In the case of Joblock the data is being transferred directly from one trusted source (ex-employer) to a data subject’s profile on another trusted third-party (Joblock) for the purpose of custody, and to preserve data integrity. This is not a reference request.
- GDPR is always about specificity: every request a data controller gets will be specific, indeed the authors of the legislation meant it to be so. Because every person is unique. Every Subject Access Request is a bespoke request. Standard, one-size-fits-all simply doesn’t do it for GDRP
Q:What if the employer says they’re happy to send directly to your email address?
Tell them it will be a pretty useless exercise, since you already know the details. The data requested through Joblock is factual, not subjective commentary, which is why you as the data subject supply it in advance in your request. All the employer needs to do is confirm or dispute. The reason the data confirmation needs to go directly to Joblock is to preserve the integrity of that validation, so you can use it as reference when dealing with another party in the future. If the verification is transfered direct
to your custody within your normal Gmail or Yahoo email, it’s of no use to anybody. The reason for the direct transfer from one trusted source to another is to preserve integrity.
Q:What if the employer says your request is giving them too much work?
Tell them, yeah that’s what happens with legislation. There wouldn’t be that many accountants if the law didn’t put penalties on missed or wrong tax fillings, would there? Tell them if they weren’t as pig-headed about giving people access to their data, maybe there would have been no need for a law to enforce the access. In other words tell them, "Suck it up folks, it is what it is".
Q:What if the employer says you’re asking is not technically feasible?
Well, it's email they need to use!
Q:I see the message below on my reference. What does that mean?
The referee's company email (email@example.com) is awaiting validation
This happens when your hiring company's data protection email email is not yet validated. References can only be sent to validated company emails, and
validation is manually performed by us, The Joblock Team. Whenever a new, unvalidated company is used to create a reference request, we get notified. We immediately commence the process of sourcing and/or validating the company's official data protection email. We try to complete this process as soon a possible, usually within 24 hours, and we send you an email when your email has been validated.
If it's taking too long for you then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Why don't you handle attachments?
A: The reason we don't accept attachments is because of
3 reasons. Firstly, as third party software, attachments may not be readable by the end consumer if they don't have the client software.
The idea behind Joblock is for accessibility and portability. Secondly, attachment confirmation are detached from the actual request, and are difficult to audit.
On the other hand, an email confirmation comes in the same document as the request, making it easy to compare the request and the confirmation. Finally, unless for reasons of
obstruction, or an attempt to force their own internal standards on a company-agnostic legal process, there's no need for an ex-employer to insist on sending confirmations as email attachments. For starters,
it's far more of a hassle to create a PDF document than to simply reply to an email. It's not normal to send an email and receive the response in a word document.