i haven't been told any notice period
Thanks Ben, I know that what you've said is obviously pretty certain but I read on the CAB website that its illegal to make a job offer and then change the terms and if i've given up a job to do it then i could go after them for loss of earnings etc.
If an employer has offered you a job but then changes their mind and withdraws the offer, whether you can take any action will depend on whether the job offer was made subject to any conditions.
If the job offer was subject to conditions, for example, the employer needed to take up references or you were required to have a medical, and these were unsatisfactory, you will not be able to make a claim against the employer for any compensation. This is because there was never any contract of employment. There was only a conditional offer of a job and the conditions have not been met.
If the job offer was unconditional, which is unusual, you may be able to claim compensation in the employment tribunal or the county court (Court of Session in Scotland) for breach of contract. This is a breach of contract because you were offered the job with no conditions, you accepted the offer and then the offer was withdrawn. Although the job has not started, it has been decided that once a job has been offered and the offer has been accepted, there is a contract of employment. If the employer then withdraws the job offer, this will be dismissal and a breach of contract. If you have given up another job because you were offered the new job, you can also claim compensation based on what you were earning in your previous job and on how long it would have taken you to find another job had you left that job to find another one.
If an employer withdraws a conditional job offer even though all the conditions were met, you may also be able to claim compensation in the same way.
If you think that the job offer has been withdrawn because of discrimination, you could consider making a discrimination claim to an employment tribunal. You would first need to investigate the circumstances around why you were not given the job, to see if the reason was really discriminatory or not.
Thanks for your advice, at least I know the facts and i don't have to waste anymore time on it.