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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I applied for a job and attended two interviews. The job was

Resolved Question:

Hi
I applied for a job and attended two interviews. The job was offering £100k base plus 30% bonus. Later I received the below e-mail from the company:
"Dear Chitranga,
I hope you are well.
Martin, Aurelie and Philip all very much enjoyed meeting with you. They see you as being very capable and believe you would absolutely be able to do the job but have concerns as to whether culturally you would be a fit. As a result they suggest that you take on the role on a contract basis for a couple of months so we can all see how it works.
Is this something that would be of interest to you? If so when would you be able to start?"
In reply to the above I asked them to elaborate of their concerns so I can see whether I am able to adjust to their culture. I didn't get any reply. However, later today I was informed that the vacancy was filled last Friday. Then again I asked the what their concerns were about me regarding the cultural concern. the I received the below e-mail:
"Dear Chitranga,
Let me answer you. There was nothing that caused concern that I am aware of. However, there were several potentially suitable candidates. Quite surprisingly, and very fortunately, a very well qualified candidate applied who lives close to the operations in Sussex and will therefore be readily able to devote more time to these than would otherwise have been the case. The decision was made therefore on the basis of location and the efficient distribution of the person’s time and resources.
As with all these things, when there are several suitable candidates, it is issues such as these which will determine in favour of one. "
I feel there was an unfair treatment towards me. Please let me know your professional opinion.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Were you offered the job and did you accept it? Also what do you think they really meant by cultural issues?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was offered the job with a condition of temp to perm depending me fit in to their culture. They never told me what the cultural issues were. later they said there were no concerns as such but offered the job to someone else.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wanted to know what the cultural concerns were before accepting the job, so I can see whether I am able to adjust for those issues. I never had a reply to that. Then today they told me they offered the job to someone else.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

So you never accepted the job offer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I didn't but indicated to them I am willing to accept provided they let me know what their concerns were. I wanted to see whether I can adjust to their cultural concerns
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. The first thing to note is that as you did not accept the offer, there would have been no contract formed and as such you cannot claim that they were guilty of breach of contract by giving the job to someone else. Your rights will be limited to any protection you get under equality laws, which deal with discrimination. For that, you must be able to show that you were treated detrimentally because of a protected characteristic, such as age, gender, race religion, sexual orientation, disability.

They mentioned cultural differences. This does not automatically man something related to your race or religion. However, if you believe that it was to do with any of these characteristics, then you can consider a claim for discrimination against them but you would need some evidence to back it up. Only in that case can you consider challenging their decision, otherwise with no formal contract in place they can refuse to employ you at any time.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have if you think that there was discrimination at play, 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. If you believe that the reasons for not offering you the job were due to a protected characteristic such as race, age, religion, etc then that is potential discrimination and a claim for injury to feelings and losses can be made in the employment tribunal within 3 months.

A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.