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Topic: Recruitment

letter withdrawing offer of appointment
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Letter withdrawing offer of appointment

Letter withdrawing offer of appointment

Use our letter to withdraw a job offer because of business reasons unconnected to the candidate. If the job offer has already been accepted, there’s a valid employment contract in place and a withdrawal with immediate effect is a breach of contract. So our letter optionally allows you to pay damages equal to the candidate’s net salary for what would have been their notice period.

Unfulfilled conditions

Our Letter Withdrawing Conditional Offer of Appointment enables you to retract a job offer because of the candidate failing to satisfy any of the conditions to which the job offer was subject, for example not providing two satisfactory references or evidence of their right to work in the UK. However, what if the reason you want to withdraw the job offer has nothing to do with the candidate or any job offer conditions, such as a change of business circumstances?

Job offer withdrawal

If the job offer hasn’t yet been accepted, then it’s straightforward to withdraw it because there’s no contract in place. A contract requires there to be both an offer (from you) and an acceptance (from the candidate). Just make sure there’s no unlawful discrimination behind your reason for withdrawal and that you do it quickly. Bear in mind that acceptance can be verbal as well as written and where they’ve signed an acceptance slip and put it in the post to you, it will be deemed to have been accepted from when the letter goes in the post box, even though it’s still in transit. Use our Letter Withdrawing Offer of Appointment to advise the candidate that the job offer is being withdrawn with immediate effect due to a change of business circumstances. It’s up to you whether you want to give any further detail to explain your situation.

Breach of contract

The legal position is different if the candidate had already accepted the job offer, as then there’s an enforceable employment contract in place, even if a start date hasn’t yet been agreed and even if some of the main terms and conditions have yet to be finalised. If you withdraw the job offer in that scenario, you should in theory give notice in accordance with the terms of that contract. If you withdraw the offer and terminate the contract without notice, that’s a breach of contract, entitling the candidate to claim damages from you equal to salary in lieu of notice, i.e. based on what would have been their notice period had they already started work. It’s common for the notice period during a probationary period to be one week but it could well be more. Therefore, to allow for this possibility, our letter contains an optional paragraph enabling you to make a goodwill payment to the candidate equal to their net basic salary for their contractual notice period. It’s your decision whether you want to offer this upfront or wait and see if the candidate comes back to you to demand compensation.

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