Job Offer

Can an employer withdraw a job offer?

Accepting a job offer and the process of moving jobs can always be a very stressful time. It is therefore important to be aware of your rights.

If a job offer is conditional on the employee obtaining satisfactory references or providing proof of qualifications, the offer can easily be withdrawn if they do not satisfy the conditions. Effectively, in this case, no contact of employment exists as the conditions have not been met.

Once the employee has satisfied the conditions of any job offer, provided they have accepted the offer, the situation is a little different.

If you have a signed contract

If the employee has signed a contract of employment with the new employer, the new employer should give the employee notice (or a payment in lieu) if they wish to withdraw the offer. The employee’s entitlement to notice will depend on the terms of the contract. Many employers draft contracts providing for shorter notice periods during the first few months of employment.

If you don’t have a signed contract

If the employee has not signed a contract of employment, then the statutory notice provisions apply. In that regard, an employer is entitled to terminate the employment of an employee during the first month of employment without notice and without payment in lieu of notice. In these circumstances the new employer can therefore withdraw a job offer without notice and without any payment in lieu.

It is therefore recommended that employees sign a contract of employment before resigning from their existing position. At least in these circumstances they will be entitled to notice or a payment in lieu in the event that the new employer decides to withdraw the offer.

If the new employer does withdraw a job offer, the employee should ask them to confirm why they have done so. If they believe that the decision is discriminatory the employee may have a claim in the Employment Tribunal.

If you have any queries about this or any other aspect of employment law please do not hesitate to contact me on 01789 336 957 or

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