Hi, thanks for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I can answer this for you.
It's only unlawful to give a bad reference if it's not true.
However, a lot of employers do not provide bad references or just give limited references (e.g. days holiday taken, illness days, etc.) rather than an opinion becasue of the fear of getting sued for it being wrong, or the employee taking issue with it even if the employer considers it to be true and accurate.
So a lot of companies simply adopt a policy of confirming the employee's employment dates, and minimalistic factual information, without an opinion.
I replied and said it was OK. What more do you need from me.