How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46777
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Accepting a job offer

Resolved Question:

I have a job offer from an audit firm which I have to accept or reject in the next day or so. At the same time, I am 98% sure I will receive a better one from a large financial services institution. I have already handed in my notice at my current employer. My questions are as follows (this is really urgent, please do reply within the next 12/18 hrs):

1) If I accept the offer from the auditing firm and renege on it later (could only be a week or so later), does it constitute breach of contract? What are all the possible follow-on effects from a legal point of view?

2) Is there a difference between an employment contract and an offer of employment?

3) How likely is it that i) the audit firm will seek legal action (and what kind would it be), and ii) reneging on this offer would jeopardise my potential other employment offer?

4) There was a headhunter involved in finding the offer at the audit firm; does that change any of the above answers?

5) Given we are talking about employment in the financial services sector, would reneging on the offer have any implications or consequences in terms of "character" or otherwise impair fitness for any professional roles?

6) How would you assess the risk of such a move (e.g. 1-10), and how could I mitigate it?

I am trying to "play by the book" in every way I can, but unfortunately found myself in a bit of a corner now. Your advice will be greatly valued. Thanks.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: 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.

Ben Jones :

To answer our specific queries:

1) If I accept the offer from the auditing firm and renege on it later (could only be a week or so later), does it constitute breach of contract? What are all the possible follow-on effects from a legal point of view?

Technically it would be a breach of contract but the employer can only pursue you if they have suffered actual losses. For example if they had paid recruitment fees to employ you, or they were left in a position where they needed you to start and had to spend money getting a replacement on short notice. In reality such claims are rarely pursued though, only for high-paid executives where the stakes are much higher.

2) Is there a difference between an employment contract and an offer of employment?

In this case - no, there would still be a contract in place if an offer as made which you had accepted. An employment contract just defines the more specific terms that apply but a contract would still be in place.

3) How likely is it that i) the audit firm will seek legal action (and what kind would it be), and ii) reneging on this offer would jeopardise my potential other employment offer?

See answer to 1) above. There won’t be a direct effect on the other job, the audit form cannot influence the other employer’s decision.

4) There was a headhunter involved in finding the offer at the audit firm; does that change any of the above answers?

Yes, again see answer to 1) – they could pursue you for the fees they spent on that.

5) Given we are talking about employment in the financial services sector, would reneging on the offer have any implications or consequences in terms of "character" or otherwise impair fitness for any professional roles?

Not really, also this would only be an issue if you are relying on a reference from that employer and you won’t need to as you would not have been employed by them to include them as a referee so this should not have any long-lasting effects, it is just a matter between you and the company.

6) How would you assess the risk of such a move (e.g. 1-10), and how could I mitigate it?

Difficult to state as no one knows the employer’s intentions and what their losses could be and also how serious they are about pursuing them – it can vary greatly from one employer to the next, so that is almost impossible to predict. To mitigate any adverse effects you should give them as much notice as possible before the start of the employment so that they have the chance to mitigate their losses too and that would then reflect on what they can pursue you for, should they decide to go down that route.

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

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 you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46777
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice