Seriousness Of Issuing A Character Certificate - CiteHR
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Saswatabanerjee
Partner - Risk Management
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I am a manager in a PSU and one of my ex employee who was of same rank has asked me to issue a character certificate to him as he is going for an interview for a different company.
He says it's just a formality.
I want to how serious is this case if I issue him a simple character certificate on good friendship term.
I am little worried because he was also a manager and he never UNDER me.
Kindly reply.

Politely tell your friend to obtain such a character certificate from any other person belonging to a higher cadre or a well-known person of reputation from his locality.
A character certificate is not something that can be enforced or any action taken against you as such. However, if it is found to be given in a frivolous manner, or for any pecuniary gains, or has been given knowing it is false (i suppose not doing due diligence would come in the same category), you are morally wrong and perhaps have been instrumental to someone doing something wrong.

So, yes, it is a serious matter, but not something you can be taken to court for.

On the other hand, you are a manager in a PSU. There are various rules that are applicable to you. So first check the service rules and CPSC rules (or whatever they are called - governing conduct of government / public servants) and see whether you are allowed to give such a certificate. Your position puts a higher moral liability on you, and perhaps may be the cause for you to suffer if it happens to be wrong.

I would say its something to avoid, but it definitely is something you need to read up on, whether you give it or refuse

Dear friend,

Characters certificates are generally issued by the Admin Office. In private organisations it is called as HR Department. You may tell the ex-employee to approach them for the issue of the character certificate. If there is no provision to approach to the Admin department, then you may first check the application form and find out whether it is mandatory to issue this certificate.

Character certificates are issued in order to certify that the applicant has unblemished record. Students, when they change their education institutions to pursue higher studies or because of the transfer of their parents, are required to submit character certificate at the time of admission to the new institute.

Character certificate in general shows that the discharge from the previous organisation was under normal circumstances and there was no negative connotation. However, discharge owing to poor performance has no bearing on the character certificate. In case if the employee is awarded any punishment because of his/her misconduct, that is also not reflected in the character certificate. Character certificates are withhold in case of abandonment of employment, termination arising out of acts of moral turpitude etc.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

You may issue such certificate if you are authorised to do so by your Organization after verifying your office record that no disciplinary action was pending,initiated and contemplated against him.
All the learned counsel to your query are correct. You may issue the Character Certificate at your best knowledge about him at your own capacity without using Company's letterhead. In this way you can handle it diplomatically.
Best Regards'
PS

You may issue the certificate on your personal letter head and not on company letter head. It can be issued not as a colleague, but, as a person who knows him for a number of years and that you could endorse his character.
All who have advised to handle the issue diplomatically are not appreciated. Character Certificates are commonly issued. There is no harm. And no liability too. Only an Authorised person is supposed to issue such certificate. I have worked in HR of PS Bank for a long time . And I have issued many such certificates. So not a big deal. As I have advised earlier, he may issue such certificate if he is an authorised person. Of course, after verifying his past official record.In such certificate, terms like " To the best of my knowledge ..." is used. There is no liability. Issue it bravely.
Thanks to all for taking out time to reply to my query.
Well, I am not from HR department. But I had issued a character certificate to him with company stamp on it for his integrity had been straight as long as he served in our PSU but he didn't use it after knowing that I was little worried about the whole issue.
These type of dilemma are really scary. hahah.
Regards.

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