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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50212
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Ya, can I decline a job offer where I have signed a

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Hiya, can I decline a job offer where I have signed a contract, but have not started the job yet? The start date in the contract is "To Be Confirmed". Would I have to advise a start date, and then serve notice on my first day?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Why do you wish to leave and what is your notice period?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not started the role that I have signed the contract for, but in receipt of a better offer prior to start date. Will be one week notice during a trial period.

Thank you. Technically a legally binding contract would be in place because you had been offered a job which you accepted so the elements for a legally binding contract are present. So if you were to fail to proceed with the role you could be acting in breach of contract, even if no formal written contract had been signed yet. However, it is very rare for employers to pursue employees who breach their contracts in this way, simply because the losses that can be pursued are usually minimal and it is not worth the employer’s time and money. So the risks of you facing any sort of formal action are rather low. What you can do is advise the employer ASAP that you do not wish to proceed and see if they would simply let you go. The earlier you tell them the more time they would have to find a replacement and suffer no losses. If it happens that they refuse to release you, then you are allowed to just turn up on day one and give them the notice period you are required to and as soon as that ends you are legally allowed to leave whether they like it or not. But as mentioned even if you do not turn up and have given them sufficient notice, there should be no losses, or at least they would be minimal and not worth pursuing.

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