What Constitutes A Valid Job Offer? And When Can A Job Offer Be Withdrawn?

The interview has gone well. The employer was happy with the candidate’s answers, and the candidate loved the atmosphere in the office.  What steps can now be expected by both sides prior to the employee’s first day in the office?


The employer makes an offer

Once an employer has decided to make an offer to the candidate, they should follow a standard procedure to avoid missing any important steps.   

Usually an offer of employment is made by telephone. This phone call could be made by the employer, or a recruiter acting on behalf of the employer.

The call should be followed up with an email containing the details of the offer. As a minimum this email should include the new employee’s name, their job title, the salary, and their start date. A formal contract of employment does not need to be sent at this stage, as long as it is sent within first two months of the employment.


What are the candidate’s options once an offer has been made?

Upon receiving the offer a candidate can choose to accept the offer, decline the offer or take some time to think it over. Particularly if they have attended other interviews, a candidate might take a week or so to respond to the offer. They are within their rights to take a reasonable amount of time to respond.

Alternatively the candidate might wish to negotiate on the terms. If they request a higher salary or increased holiday, this does not constitute acceptance of the offer until you have agreed to the change of terms.


Can the employer or candidate change their mind once an offer has been made?

Once a candidate has accepted a job offer it becomes difficult for the candidate or the employer to withdraw as a legally binding contract has been formed. If either party wishes to withdraw at this stage, appropriate notice should be given.

An exception to this is if the offer was conditional. A lot of employers will make their offer subject to satisfactory references, which is highly recommended.  If an offer is conditional, even if it has been accepted, the candidate should not consider the offer to be set in stone until the conditions have been met. The Employer will have done nothing wrong by withdrawing an offer where the conditions are not met and employees are advised not to give notice on their current role until they get an unconditional offer.

If an employee takes too long to respond to a job offer, or another candidate is interviewed and is deemed more suitable before the original offer is accepted, then the employer may withdraw the offer.

For further information and to discuss particular circumstances you can call TBOS on 0845 881 1112.

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