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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49851
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi, please can you give me advice on breach of verbal offer

Customer Question

Hi, please can you give me advice on breach of verbal offer of employment, when new employer encouraged me to hand in notice (I was required to give 2 mths but they were insistent I should start within 1 mth) after doing so they retracted the offer on the basis of my criminal record, which I disclosed on application form and agreed to discuss at interview - they did not ask - then provided existing CRB when I am sure they should have applied for a DRB as it now is themselves after the offer. It was part time position, days and hours of work were discussed, and my induction planned. I have been employed in social care for 12 years, accepted on social work course and vetted by Care Council, I met the requirements of the job and was interviewed by 2 panels and informed it was a unanimous decision, they did not discuss the circumstances around my convictions, take up references or inform me of their reasoning to withdraw the offer. They still have not returned my CRB despite several requests and they informed me by phone on Xmas Eve when I was due to start Jan 6th after handing in my notice at their insistence shortly after interview. I gave up a full time 4 year job with permanent contract and am now financially crippled. I do not even have the grace of the 2 mths standard notice I would have normally given based on their assurances. I am not convinced they have followed the correct CRB process and feel they may have spoken to my recent employer off the record with whom I had issues. Any recourse I can pursue? Many thanks, Julie
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was the offer made conditional on anything?

As I am just going offline and you asked for low urgency answer would it be ok to answer this first thing in the morning please?

JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : I am not available in the morning, tomorrow afternoon?
Ben Jones :

Hi i should be available in the afternoon, not sure on times but as soon as you are online and respond to my initial query above then I will be notified and if I am online we can continue with this. if not then I can just provide my response once I have the required information and you can access it at your leisure

JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : I am online now if you are available
Ben Jones :

hi, yes I am

Ben Jones :

So was the offer made conditional on anything?

JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : They knew I had a record, they are now saying it was conditional on their viewing of it, but that was not made clear, and tgey asked me to hand in one months notice before viewing it. No policies or documents were made available to me around their recruitment of ex offenders.
Ben Jones :

A verbal offer can be just as legally binding as a written one, as long as there as an offer by them, an acceptance by you and some consideration and it is likely all these would have been satisfied in your case.

The issue then is whether the offer was conditional on anything specific because if it was, then if you did not satisfy these conditions the employer could have terminated the contract or withdrawn the offer. If there were any conditions to the offer then these should have been made clear to you at the outset. Therefore, if the offer was not made conditional on anything and the employer has gone and withdrawn it then potentially they would be acting in breach of contract.

The issue now is what you may be entitled to as a result of this potential breach and that would depend on your contract with them. For example, if you were told you will have a specific contract with that and you have seen it, and that contract had a contractual notice period for termination then you may try and get the equivalent of that notice as compensation. If you think about it, they could have still employed you and allowed you to start working for them, but on your first day of work they could have relied on the contract and legally terminated your employment by giving you the notice period in it. As such the worst case scenario would have been you lose out on this notice period. As such, in your circumstances the best you can hope for is some compensation equivalent to that notice period.

If you were never told of a contract or seen one, then by law they could have terminated your employment with no notice in the first month of your employment with them. Sao again, they could have allowed you to start working for them and on your first day legally dismissed you with no notice period, so in that case your losses would not really amount to anything, maybe a day's pay but that is it.

So your rights would really depend on whether a contract was in place and what notice period it contained. The above can help you with negotiating with the employer over this if necessary - has it answered your query?

JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : Well, I could do with some more advice around Rehabilitation of offenders act and correct CRB process, and how to pursue a claim please.
Ben Jones :

what exactly do you wish to know about this?

JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : There was no written contract but I was contacted to choose which days I preferred to work and discuss induction. This was before they saw the CRB. No references were taken up, they say, but I feel they have informally contacted my employer. Which route do I go down, tribunal, civil claim? Also I am 39 and had been on a good career path which has now been interrupted by this. I feel there is underhanded actions at play, and I am outraged at their lack of morals - they are a charity promoting the rights of BME women of which I am one, and have not even given me the reason for withdrawal of offer or responded to my offers to discuss at length with them the circumstances, convictions are spent and over 15 yrs old!
JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : I wish to know if the law allows them to disregard me based on my history with no discussion. I have looked at the DRB code of practice in which they are in breach.i have evidence when I gave notice at their request. How do I ask for compensation of the lost months pay?
JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : Please advise me how I can sue/ request the month pay I would have got from my former job had I given the required notice period of 2 months - at least in that scenario I would have been financially solvent after their withdrawal for another month!
JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : Are you there?
Ben Jones :

yes but please leave it with me I will respond later this eve

JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : I need to know how to go about any claim pls
Ben Jones :

what kind of employer was this, what was the job for?

JACUSTOMER-ypjteafp- : Charitable organisation providing support to asylum seekers
Ben Jones :

Ok so if you were 'rehabilitated' under the Rehabilitation of Offenders' Act 1974 and your conviction was considered spent (assuming that the job you did was not one of the excluded ones, which you can see here: then the employer should not have taken into consideration your criminal record when offering you the job.

The issue is that the law does not specifically say what you can pursue the employer for if they do not follow the above rules. The law only says they should not do it, but it does not give the person the specific right to sue the employer if they do not follow these rules. So you are then unfortunately only left with the breach of contract claim which I discussed above, which is something to be pursued in the county court.

Ben Jones :

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?

Ben Jones :

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?