Once someone has accepted an ‘unconditional’ job offer, they’re in a legally binding contract of employment. However, a ‘conditional’ job offer can be withdrawn if the person doesn’t meet the employer’s conditions (eg satisfactory references and health record).
A job offer doesn’t have to be in writing, and nor does the acceptance - but it’s a good idea for employees to ask for and give something in writing.
Employees should wait until they get an unconditional offer before handing in their notice as a conditional offer could fall through.
If an employer withdraws their job offer
Once someone has accepted an offer they can only take action in certain situations.
|The applicant has evidence that the employer discriminated against them when withdrawing the offer||The applicant can take the employer to an employment tribunal|
|The employer has confirmed that the job offer was unconditional, or the applicant has met all conditions||The applicant can sue the employer for ‘breach of contract’|
|The offer was conditional and the applicant didn’t meet the conditions||The applicant can’t take any action|
If a new employee changes their mind
If someone accepts an unconditional offer and then changes their mind, the employer can:
- make them work out any contractual element of their notice
- sue them for breach of contract