What it is with companies these days and reference policies. Just checked with my last 2 employers and have had the response that they now have strict reference policies in that they don't give any. My last manager says they got supplied a strict guideline saying they weren't allowed to give references and that all they would be allowed to say is that I worked for them and in what position and that was all. Employer before that says they have an even stricter policy that only allows them to say that they know me but not allowed to say anything else! With job applications always requiring references (and preferable from previous or recent employer), how the hell are you supposed to be able to comply when employers have such strict guidelines.