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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been given a signed contract of employment which I signed

Customer Question

I have been given a signed contract of employment which I signed and returned.

The offer was subsequently withdrawn but only after I have left my current employer, giving up 9 years continuous service, 6 months full and 6 months half pay for sickness and a number of other benefits.

My potential employer will not tell me the reason for the withdrawal, however they have stated that they were contacted/received information that made it necessary to withdraw the offer, however I had not provided any reference details and they did not/have not contacted my current employer.

I believe my potential employer was contacted by an extremely vindictive and evil individual with the sole purpose of destroying my reputation and career.

I was not under any reprimand or discaplinary action, now or ever within the 9 year employment term.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What would you like to know about this?

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

I would like to know firstly if I have a case for breach of contract and secondly, I need to know how I can obtain details of what information was received and from whom that led to the withdrawal of the offer, after I already had a signed contract. I need to ensure this does not happen again.

Ben Jones :

Was the offer conditional on anything?

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

The offer did not stipulate that it was conditional or non onditional.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

There is indeed a potential case for breach of contract here because you had a formal offer, which you subsequently accepted and there was also consideration on your part as you left your old job as a result. So the elements for a legally binding contract appear to be in place. Also the contract was not conditional on anything and as such the employer cannot argue that you had not satisfied some condition and that is why they have withdrawn the offer.

In terms of potential compensation you are only really looking at whatever your contractual notice would have been because if you think about it you could have still started the job but on your first day they could have legally terminated the contract anyway by giving you that notice period. So this is really the most you can expect in the circumstances.

In terms of obtaining information about what caused this then you have already done the correct steps by making a SAR. However, if they refuse or say there was nothing they held on you to reveal, then forcing them to disclose whatever you believe they may be holding will not be easy. In the absence of evidence to suggest that such information actually exists, you are going to have difficulties forcing such a disclosure. Also no one can physically force them to disclose that, you are really only looking at a court order that orders them to do this but if they refuse then again you are stuck as you cannot get someone in to go to their premises to search for this and ensure it is disclosed.

So pursue the SAR for now and evaluate your options once the formal response has come in you need to evaluate your options. Also if this was done by phone then it would not be a data protection issue which is covered by a SAR so there would be nothing for them to disclose.

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

If this person I suspect has given false information about me to a potential employer, does that not constitute defamation or character os is slanderous.

Ben Jones :

yes it may indeed be defamation but to pursue it in the courts you are looking at fees in excess of £10,000 and quite a complex case. It could also be malicious falsehood

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

This kind of goes against some advice I have previously be given.

Ben Jones :

what specifically?

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

I think that I may have a case in court, I have all sorts of paperwork/e-mails etc to back up the entire course of events and when speaking to another High Court Barrister (friend of the family)

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

Sorry Ben, I failed to complete the message. I meant to continue by saying that at an exit interview with my Regional Manager on leaving the company, he actually told me that a certain person within the organitaion would try to find out where I was going so that he could contact them and "stitch me up".................. his exact words.!

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

I would be looking to at least recover any current loss of earnings both in the period of unemployment and any future loss of earnings but am unsure whether this can be done via the company that withdrew the offer or the company that provided the false information. Although this was certainly an individual, he is an employee of the company and I suspect they are therefore responsible?

Ben Jones :

ok I am not quite sure what conflicts with the information I have given though?

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

I think you have said that I am only entitled to whatever notice period was stipulated in the contract, (this was one week which they have already paid me)however I had taken out private insurance (since cancelled) against this eventuality and if I would have worked for only a single day, I would have been entitled to 3K per month for 12 months.Obviously you were not aware of this but previous advice says that I could claim for this loss and any potentil loss of earnings.

Ben Jones :

You will be entitled to any direct losses resulting from this that are not too remote and also reasonably foreseeable. I am not certain that cancelling your insurance is something that would be included as it is not reasonably foreseeable and you may fail on the remoteness issue, but that is for a court to decide, not me or the barrister that has advised you

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

The company that was to employ me even agreed to enhance the salary to cover the monthly premiums becase

JACUSTOMER-attgl5v6- :

I have hit the enter button too early again, I need to leave this chat, I am becoming extremely frustrated by this. I could potentially loss my house over this.

Ben Jones :

well to summarise you can sue for breach of contract but what losses you can recover will be determined by the court. Defamation is not something I would recommend due to the cost and complexity of pursuing such a claim

Ben Jones :

but I cannot give you a route to pursue and tell you that if you do so you are guaranteed to walk away with a full and fair award for compensation - no one can guarantee that and as with any legal claim you always carry a risk you may walk away with nothing so all I can tell you is what options you have and then it is for you to decide which one to take

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

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