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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48167
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I am an Optometry Graduate and have been looking job as

Customer Question

I am an Optometry Graduate and have been looking for a job as Optical Assistant with the prospect of being taken on as a Pre-reg Optometrist.
I received 2 offers. One with an opportunity of a Pre-Reg starting this September, the other starting September 2017 while working part-time as an Optical Assistant. As the first employer was keen for me to start last Monday, I did.
On that day at the Optician store, I felt as if there was an obvious resentment from the Manager/future supervisor and I was treated in a passive aggressive manner. As you can imagine, I was very disturbed by this because a good relationship with your supervisor is very important to succeed in pre-reg. After finishing the shift, I had a good long thought about the situation and decided against taking this position.
There was no contract signed as one of the employees handed me the contract without further information and later I refused any payment.
The next morning I found out that the second offer was still available, accepted it and called the first store to explain and thank them for the offer that I couldn't accept.
The Manager who had interviewed me for the job asked me if I felt that the shop manager/supervisor gave the impression that she saw me as burden. She asked me to come to see her for some feedback and, in good faith, I agreed.
At this meeting was also a Director of the store, and I explained the situation again. They were trying to win me over and have me return, but I told them that I had accepted another offer that very morning. At this, the atmosphere changed. They asked me to be discreet about what happened the previous day during my shift. I consented and they wished me good luck at my new job.
The following morning, I got a call from my recruitment agent telling me that the second job was retracted. It was retracted because the Store director of the first offer talked the the Store director of the second offer. I do not know what was said because the second Director refused any contact with me and refused to listen to my side of the story. The vague reason for the retraction of the offer that was given to me was that I "didn't tell them the truth".
I feel the first director has destroyed employment opportunities as I am not sure what was said, and that the director felt the need to punish me, despite me even meeting them, which I now feel was a trap. I reckon there must be internal management problems in the first store - and as we are talking about Specsavers stores - I feel I became a victim of crossfire.
My question is whether I have any right for compensation, and how I can stop any further slander. I have no interest in working for the company now, but I am worried that any future employment could be at risk. I was told the feedback from the first store was positive as far as my work was concerned, so I worry that I am being unfairly victimized.
I would appreciate any advice.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Did they provide you with a reason for this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The reason for what exactly?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

For retracting the offer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My recruitment agent was told by an employee of the second Director that the first Director called and they had a conversation. My recruitment agent said that the Director felt like he wasn't told the whole truth by me and didn't like that I didn't tell him that I started in the first store. I was in no direct contact with this Director and had simply told my Recruitment agent that I had worked there for one day. However, I did not sign anything and consider it to have been a experience/trial.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. So there are two issues here – one is the retraction of the offer and the other is the potential negative feedback, which could impact you for the future.

As far as the retraction of the offer is concerned, this is likely to amount to a breach of contract because you had a formal offer, which you accepted and in turn this would have created a legally binding agreement. So a contract would have been in place. If the offer was not conditional on anything and they then retracted it, then that would amount to a breach of contract. Usually you would be seeking compensation to the value of the notice period you would have been entitled had you been terminated once in the job. That is because if you think about it, they could have fulfilled the contract by allowing you to start and then issued you with notice of termination on day one of your job and they would have acted completely legally. So you are basically prevented from receiving the notice period you were entitled to had you been allowed to start working there.

In terms of being slandered, that can be difficult to deal with. If this was done as a result of a written reference, where you could refer to the slanderous comments, then that could be pursued. However, if this was done verbally and neither party wishes to reveal what was said, it would make it impossible to take it further because you have no idea what was said and if what was said was untrue. It is an unfortunate reality but people do get ‘blacklisted’ from certain jobs simply through word of mouth or private discussions between those who make the decisions. These cannot really be challenged as no one can prove what was said or that anything was said so you just have to hope that it does not affect other potential prospects in the industry (I am sure they would not know everyone in the industry or speak to them).

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to take this further for compensation, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your answer.I just want to mention that the first Director having the conversation with the second Director was mentioned by name by my recruitment agent. He also said that whatever was said, made them retract the offer.Is there any way that I could have been in breach of contract with the first store?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

You would only have been in breach if you had a formal contract in place which you did not follow. If no contract was agreed or signed then you would not have been in breach of one and could have left straight away if you wanted to.