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Reneged job offer, verbal agreement

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angelicaj | 23:53 Mon 16th Aug 2004 | How it Works
7 Answers
I was interviewed for a job, offered the job, given start and finish dates for the job, offered and accepted a fee for the job, repeatedly requested a contract for the job, was told I had to change my holiday plans because they wanted to have a meeting the week before the job started which clashed with my holiday dates (I changed my holiday plans) and the week before I was told the job was starting, the week the first meeting was supposed to happen, I was told it's now not happening. Was our verbal agreement (there are somethings in writing via email) legally binding? If so, can I get some kind of reimbursement from them?


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There is something around whether or not you have received an Offer letter- if you have then I believe you do have some protection.
"A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." (attributed to Sam Goldwyn.) Seriously, a verbal contract is theoretically binding, but the onus is on you to prove it existed. It's your word against theirs, so I'm afraid you're rather up against it.
The law states: The Form of a Contract. The contract may be written or oral and contain express or implied terms. The terms may be contained in an offer letter, a document which is formally witnessed, one which is signed and returned by the employee, a statement of terms which is not signed, information on the organisation's noticeboard, in the handbook, in other documents, e.g. pension scheme rules, in trade union agreements, other collective agreements or may arise through custom and practice.
You have an offer, an acceptance and a date for commencement so you have a perfectly good and sound contract. You are due damages for being prevented from performing that contract, and you should set out your loss - cost of attending interviews, cost of re-arranged holidays, loss of earnings through turning other work away because of this contract, phone calls, postage, e-mails, letters etc etc - and submit a written claim.
I do hope this is not another compensation ploy! If you only had a verbal job offer, you have no proof & the company can always say that you misconstrued what had been discussed. If however, you have a written offer via e-mail, that may be a different kettle of fish. If you want to take things further, pop along to the CAB. Personally I would put it down to experience & look for work elsewhere.
Smudge perhaps is without experience in this matter. Cancelled job offers are quite common and the obligation to compensate an appointee is well understood. You have an excellent case from what you say but you must claim, your prospective employer will not seek you out. Simply put everything under a heading "To my costs in you cancelling my appointment as ? on ? as follows;" and list everything. 2 weeks of the offered salary is absolute minimum, and I know of 3 cases in which 6 months was claimed and received.
It'll be interesting to see how you get on angelicaj. Good luck in your compensation claim. It's back to the drawing board for jenstar & I then!

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