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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44867
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We are 17 days away from my 24 year old son taking up a position

Customer Question

We are 17 days away from my 24 year old son taking up a position under the Civil Service Direct Appointment Scheme This was a Fixed Term of 2years with the possibility of becoming permanent. He is 7 days away from his flight, has quit his job in Austrailia, arranged for shipment and transfer of his possessions. Had spent months of interviews, had paid to attend interviews in Westminster Had filled in countless forms stating his current living position. He had turned down two equally wonderful positions in Canberra (both of which have now been taken up by other candidates). On arriving home from his final day of work in Brisbane to find a letter from the Department to say he had failed the
Security check as he has not been living in U.K. for the past 3 years..! Surely this is BASIC information and should have been noticed much earlier. My question is can he
sue the Department for Breach of Contract, and would he be able to embarrass them into finding a way around the problem, My son holds a Briish Passport and was worn here, and apart from the past 12 - he had been born, was educated and had always lived with us here in U.K.
Obviously we are devestated and at a loss as what to do. Any help or advice woud be gratefully received.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did the contract have a notice period for termination?
JACUSTOMER-21xv1g1u- :

hello Ben, this is rosangela, Massimo is the person of whom we speak. Do you think it might be better for you to email each other directly? as he will have all the information you may need.

JACUSTOMER-21xv1g1u- :

Massimo's email address is '*****@******.***' rosangela

JACUSTOMER-21xv1g1u- :

Ben I have no idea how this system works? Your same question has continually been asked, and now my answer appears in several of the boxes? Does this mean you Have received my answer? and can you let me know whether you will be emailing me or emailing Massimo directly - I shall be emailing him in Australia to let him know.

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry ignore any duplicates in the replies, probably just a system glitch. We cannot email customers directly and any correspondence will have to be dealt with through this page so he can either log in and respond on here or use you to post his replies. Thanks

JACUSTOMER-21xv1g1u- :

can you not email hin directly. if not it will have to be me..... The situation has arisen as they have been incompetent from the outset.... they had always known he was living in australia. they were well aware of his flying over to westminster for an interview earlier this year.... all correspondence in writing would have been marked as Australia...... It is totally unforgivable

JACUSTOMER-21xv1g1u- :

that at this late stage, they only just now notice and thus invalidating his security clearance... he has an absolutely blameless record both here and in Australia..... They have caused an infinate amount of distress to us all. Have possibly hindered his job prospects in these difficult times. Massimo has been chasing suitable possitions since Graduating in Nov 2011.

Ben Jones :

No unfortunately we cannot email any customers and this page is the only place we can communicate.

Going back to the original query, whether the employer can be accused of breach of contract would depend on what the terms of the contract said in relation to termination. Also it would depend on whether the job offer was conditional on anything, such as the security clearance still coming through.

As he does not have 2 years’ service with the employer he would not be protected against unfair dismissal so he cannot pursue such a claim against them and his only potential claim would be breach of contract. As mentioned this would depend on what provisions were in the contract for early termination of the employment. Most commonly there would be an option for the employer to give the employee a specific notice period following which they can terminate the contract early. So he needs to check if there was such a clause and if there was then he could pursue them for compensation for the equivalent of this notice period. Unfortunately he would not be able to claim anything on top of that, such as relocation costs, because even if he had moved and started the job, legally the employer could have terminated his employment by giving him and paying him for that notice period and as he is not protected against unfair dismissal there would be no breach of contract claim as the employer would have adhered to the terms of the contract by giving him the termination notice stipulated in there.

The other issue is whether the job offer was still conditional on the security check coming through. If it was then he may not even be able to claim for breach of contract because there was still a condition which was not satisfied and until that had happened then the contract would not have fully kicked in and its terms would not have been applicable, including the notice period.

Finally, assuming that there was no condition attached to the contract and there was also no notice period for early termination, he could potentially pursue them for losses linked to the 2 years he would have been employed for as a minimum. So this would be the best scenario for him because in that event his losses would have been greatest and also the employer would not have any specific terms he could rely on to justify this termination.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

JACUSTOMER-21xv1g1u- :

Hi,

I'm afraid the 'breach of contract' wording in the question may have been a little misleading, as it was, as you suspected, a job offer conditional on the security check coming through. The issue is really that the security check was refused for a reason that would have been clear from information supplied at the start of the year. We are currently in negotiations to see if another position can be offered to me with less stringent security requirements, though, so hopefully that brings us to a workable solution.

Ben Jones :

I understand, which may make his situation that more difficult to pursue as a breach of contract. Whilst it may have been clear from the outset that the security clearance may not be obtained, the offer was still made subject to that so in the circumstances a breach of contract claim could be difficult

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position?

Ben Jones :

Could you please let me know if your query has been answered so I know whether to close the question or not, thank you

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