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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50150
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I've accepted and signed contract of employment from another

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I've accepted and signed contract of employment from another employer and my current employer has counter offered. The reason for change was due to significant amount of travel, which my current employer has committed to resolve, through change of role/etc. I wish to withdraw my acceptance of new job. Is this acceptable and what would be the best course of action?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

When were you due to start?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Am I to expect another response? My previous response was another question....

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query.

If you have signed a contract to start a job then you would be in a legally binding contractual relationship with the employer. They have a duty to offer you the job and you have a duty to taken on the job and start working for them. If either party reneges on this agreement they would be acting in breach of contract. Therefore, if you are to fail to proceed with this job offer you will likely be acting in breach of contract. In the event of a breach, the other party has a right to consider pursuing the party in breach for damages resulting from their breach. They cannot just penalise you for the breach and they can only take action if they have actually suffered losses. So in your case, the potential losses are going to be linked with costs for having to recruit someone else to be able to start at the time you were supposed to. There are still 3 months so there should really be no problem for them to find someone new with minimum costs. If the start date was much sooner then they may have been able to justify spending some money or recruitment costs to get them at short notice but with 3 month to go there should be no reason why they cannot find someone even for free through normal advertising methods. If that proves difficult then they could justify sending some extra on getting someone through a recruitment agency for example but in general these are the only costs they would be able to pursue you for, if at all.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have if they were to take this matter further, 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 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do have a follow-on question and maybe should have included previously. The company I have accepted the offer from, I used to work for prior to joining my current employer. When I left, they said that the door was open for me to return. And it was I that instigated the move back (partly driven by pressures at home). Therefore, many of the general costs incurred, weren't present here. Would this have any bearing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would this have any impact on future references? I'm assuming not, given my work was exemplary, when I was employed there, and they were keen not to lose me at the time.I do realise though, this will not be well received by them...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you could respond ASAP, it would be much appreciated, and I will be happy to pay an additional fee.

Hi there, the issue is not what costs were incurred in recruiting you but what costs they may have to incur in getting a replacement for you. As to references they should not mention this in a reference because you were not formally employed by them when this issue happened so they should keep their reference to the time you used to work for them.