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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46182
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Issue:New employer has withdrawn signed offer of employment

Resolved Question:

Issue: New employer has withdrawn signed offer of employment, to my daughter offering only one weeks salary in recompense

My daughter aged 23 , graduated in June 2013 from Durham University with a 2.1 Masters in Engineering. She has been working as a Business Analyst in a consultancy firm since November 2013. Her salary was 28,500pa. She sought a new employer who gave her an offer in January for a permanent position with a start date in March with a salary of 33,000pa. She gave her notice in January to be able to start on the 2nd March. The new company then contacted her in February wanting to push back the start date to May due to the downturn in the oil and gas economy. She discussed with them to make sure that this new offer was secure and that this instance would not be repeated. She signed a new contract to start on the 4th May. Her previous company and client were very sorry to see her go and she left on very good terms. Today she received a phone call from her new company informing her that they were withdrawing their offer as they had no work for her and offering in recompense 1 weeks salary as per contract clause covering Probation / Termination

The wording was as follows:
"The first 3 months are considered as a probationary period during which 1 weeks notice in writing by either party is acceptable in respect to termination"

Please advise whether she could be entitled to a higher compensation, the options she has for pursuing this claim and the max likely value of a claim.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. So does her contract only entitle her to a weeks notice on termination?
<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

Probation / Termination The first 3 months are considered as a probationary period during which 1 weeks notice in writing by either party is acceptable in respect to termination. On successful completion of your probation, 1 full calendar months notice in writing is required by either party. XXXXXXX reserves the right to make a payment for your base salary in lieu of notice. Upon termination it is your responsibility to return all XXXXXXX property this includes the data held on your XXXXXXX laptop/computer hard drive. You must not delete, erase or format the hard drive of your XXXXXXX laptop or computer nor must you delete, erase or in anyway change any of the emails on your XXXXXXXlaptop/computer.
You are not permitted to take up employment with a client (Any company XXXXXXX is currently working for or that has been a client of XXXXXXX during the 12 months prior to any termination) or a direct competitor of XXXXXXX for a period of 6 months from any termination date. Under certain circumstances XXXXXXX may revoke this restriction in writing.
XXXXXXX XXXXXXX The organisation may, at its absolute discretion, require you not to attend your place of work for the duration of your notice period and may, at its discretion, relieve you of some or all of your contractual duties during that period.

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

ps Would it be possible to redact the employers name from this reply or delete my reply in its entirety..

Ben Jones :

Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied and I have only just returned. First of all I can confirm that I will make a request to delete any company names from your response so it will be actioned ASAP.

Going back to your query, if she has been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years (or has not even started there yet) then her employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, she will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that her employer can dismiss her for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because she was trying to assert any of her statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity leave, etc.).

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then she would not be able to challenge it and her only protection would be if she was not paid her contractual notice period, because unless she was dismissed for gross misconduct, she would be entitled to receive her contractual notice period. In this case the contract allowed the employer to terminate her employment by giving her a month’s notice. They have already satisfied that condition by agreeing to pay her the equivalent of a month’s salary. If they have paid her this then she has no other claim against the unfortunately. As such she cannot take the matter any further and does not have any other claims for higher compensation against the company.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

Thsnk you.

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

My daughter specifically asked her new employer if there were any likelihood of the offer being withdrawn a second time around (for the reason of handing in her notice to her current employer and got a clear response indicating that would not happen). Only after getting that reassurance did my daughter hand in her notice to her current employer. To conclude please confirm that the breaking of this secondary undertaking would not entitle her to a higher claim.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I am afraid this does not change her legal position. Whatever ancillary promises the employer has made, her legal position is still only governed by her contract and her length of service, neither of which give her any further rights. I am afraid that her argument is of a moral nature in this case, legally they have complied with the requirements.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies matters for you?

Customer:

See the contract wording as follows: "The first 3 months are considered as a probationary period during which 1 weeks notice in writing by either party is acceptable in respect to termination. On successful completion of your probation, 1 full calendar months notice in writing is required by either party."

Customer:

is it one week or 1 month of compensation she is entitled to, as her probationary period had not yet started.

Customer:

they have curerently offered her one week.

Ben Jones :

it is just a week, she may not have actually started the job yet but the week's notice is what she would have been entitled to had she started and they decided to terminate her employment at that time

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46182
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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