July 26 2013.

Motorcycle Trader is well renowned for its relevant Business Journal articles and the current July/August issue is no exception. The first piece provides some useful tips on writing an employee reference that is legal, fair and effective; the second highlights the problems that can be caused by the use of social media.

Writing a reference
Overseeing staff is fundamental to management and it is invariably managers who receive requests for references when employees find new positions elsewhere. It is a common misconception that employers must oblige. In fact, except where a reference is needed by a regulatory body or there is a prior written agreement to provide a reference, no obligation exists.

However, it is rare for an employer to refuse to provide a reference. This is partly because it is good practice to provide references, and partly because of the adverse consequences a refusal would have on the employee concerned. The response to a general request for a reference may contain nothing more than factual information about matters such as job description, length of service and reason for leaving ...

The power & perils of social media
The huge growth in popularity of social media has created new opportunities to engage with clients, develop sales and add value to brands. However, it has also created new challenges and legal liabilities that need to be managed. So what are the legal risks that can trip up a social media user? And what are the best practices for businesses to adopt to manage these risks and avoid brand damage?

Social networks are unforgiving. What can seem like a good marketing idea at the time can backfire and rapidly inflict serious brand damage as the blogosphere seizes on the slightest social media faux-pas. The source may be an ill-judged message or campaign, or an unthinking employee ...

To read the full articles, turn to pages 40 to 42 of the July/August 2013 edition of Motorcycle Trader.

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