I am currently a lecturer at a UK university, and I got an oral offer from another university. I was called by their HR today saying that their official is condition on satisfactory reference checking with my current line manager, who is the HoD of my current department. In my case I do not know my HoD is willing to provide a reference letter, as I am pretty sure that he will not be happy knowing I want to leave.
I am wondering if this (requiring reference from current line manager) is a common practices for UK universities? If there is any alternative solution to it? Thanks for your suggestions in advance.