dsoodles
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#1
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#1
I have accepted a job and signed my contract and returned it to the company where the job starts in September 2020. However the company now say they are not running the scheme anymore and I am no longer required. Where do I stand as I thought a contract was a legally binding document?
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999tigger
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(Original post by dsoodles)
I have accepted a job and signed my contract and returned it to the company where the job starts in September 2020. However the company now say they are not running the scheme anymore and I am no longer required. Where do I stand as I thought a contract was a legally binding document?
The Acas helpline number is 0300 123 1100. It is available Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.
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ThuggerThugger
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#3
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(Original post by dsoodles)
I have accepted a job and signed my contract and returned it to the company where the job starts in September 2020. However the company now say they are not running the scheme anymore and I am no longer required. Where do I stand as I thought a contract was a legally binding document?
Not really, did you read the actual terms of the contract? I’m sure it states they are able to withdraw/end employment due to “X” reason. The word “contract” means nothing, I could literally create a contact now and put terms in it that renders the contract useless and get you to sign it.
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username4448686
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#4
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Offers of employment can be and are usually conditional on certain things. It is possible that your offer was subject to the continued availability of the relevant scheme. There are also usually express termination clauses in employment contracts allowing the company (or the employee, as the case may be) to terminate the employment relationship by giving notice.

Have a read through the terms of your contract. If you think you've been wronged, there are free hotlines/services available for you to seek (legal) advice. I emphasise that no one in this forum is in a position to give you legal advice.
Last edited by username4448686; 2 years ago
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dsoodles
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#5
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#5
Thankyou for your advise. I have read my contract through and although there are terms for cancellation of contract this is for conduct only. However I can see your point about continued availability.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by dsoodles)
Thankyou for your advise. I have read my contract through and although there are terms for cancellation of contract this is for conduct only. However I can see your point about continued availability.
There's nothing to pursue here, unfortunately it happens. You can't enforce an employment contract when there is no role. To gain anything (ie money in the courts) you'd have to show that you made a material loss during the period that you thought you had a contact with them. You are extremely unlikely to be able to do that, and even more so in any cost effective or worthwhile way. It's the other side of the 'I signed a contract and the changed my mind' thread we see so often on TSR.

If you have had a signed contract for any substantial period of time, you could write to them and ask if they can help you search for new opportunities, given you withdrew from job hunting in good faith, having signed their contract. However, presumably they aren't recruiters and they will have limited resources to help.
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Catherine1973
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At best, you could ask them to pay the notice period mentioned in the contract but it would probably be one week anyway at the start.
It does suck though. Especially if you turned down other roles for this one.
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threeportdrift
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#8
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#8
(Original post by dsoodles)
I have accepted a job and signed my contract and returned it to the company where the job starts in September 2020. However the company now say they are not running the scheme anymore and I am no longer required. Where do I stand as I thought a contract was a legally binding document?
Regrettably the person above either didn't read or didn't understand their own references.

The government advice is pretty clear - presuming you don't have any evidence the employer discriminated against you, and the offer wasn't conditional and you failed to meet the conditions, your only recourse would be the second of their options

The employer has confirmed that the job offer was unconditional, or the applicant has met all conditionsThe applicant can sue the employer for ‘breach of contract’
So you can 'sue the employer for breach of contract'. However, the remedies, ie results you can get if you win are monies to compensate you for your loss. Given you were not due to start working for the company until Sep 2020, it is very unlikely indeed that any court would offer you any meaningful compensation. You have not yet suffered any financial loss, unless you can prove that you gave up other lucrative, unconditional offers in favour of this one. Given the costs of taking this to court, and the chance of any payout, and the sum of any payout, I doubt any solicitor would advise you to do anything but job hunt.

There's a big difference between having a technical case in law (especially one argued by a keyboard warrior on TSR and having a case that is actually worth pursuing.
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threeportdrift
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#9
I accept that I'm using lay terms to describe the process, but with a Sep 2020 start date, I can't see the OP has any realistic option but to start job hunting again. They can contact the employer with a firm letter, and ask for help in the job hunt, but they can't force the job to exist.
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username4448686
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Regrettably the person above either didn't read or didn't understand their own references.

The government advice is pretty clear - presuming you don't have any evidence the employer discriminated against you, and the offer wasn't conditional and you failed to meet the conditions, your only recourse would be the second of their options

The employer has confirmed that the job offer was unconditional, or the applicant has met all conditionsThe applicant can sue the employer for ‘breach of contract’
So you can 'sue the employer for breach of contract'. However, the remedies, ie results you can get if you win are monies to compensate you for your loss. Given you were not due to start working for the company until Sep 2020, it is very unlikely indeed that any court would offer you any meaningful compensation. You have not yet suffered any financial loss, unless you can prove that you gave up other lucrative, unconditional offers in favour of this one. Given the costs of taking this to court, and the chance of any payout, and the sum of any payout, I doubt any solicitor would advise you to do anything but job hunt.

There's a big difference between having a technical case in law (especially one argued by a keyboard warrior on TSR and having a case that is actually worth pursuing.
Your understanding of loss is too narrow.

If there is a binding contract of employment (because the contract wasn’t conditional), it must be terminated in accordance with its terms. The contract will usually state the period of notice that must be given. The employer is obligated to pay salary in respect of that period of notice. Even if a notice period is not stated, the tribunal reads into the contract an obligation to give reasonable notice. Similarly, salary must be paid in respect of that period. Simply stated, where there is a binding contract, the employer can’t just withdraw an offer before the start date without more — failure to give notice and pay salary is a breach of contract which entitles the (former) employee to damages.

You’ve identified other heads of loss such as giving up other job offers. Other losses consequential on the breach may also be claimed, but that will very much depend on the circumstances. I echo the advice to contact Acas if OP feels he/she has been wronged.
Last edited by username4448686; 2 years ago
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mnot
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#11
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#11
(Original post by dsoodles)
I have accepted a job and signed my contract and returned it to the company where the job starts in September 2020. However the company now say they are not running the scheme anymore and I am no longer required. Where do I stand as I thought a contract was a legally binding document?
Probably need to look at the contract & check it over. Although even if you are entitled to the job at least for 12/24 months, would you want it?

Massively unprofessional of them, I dont see a problem with at least requesting some level of compensation if they are required to take you (ask for a couple grand to shut up & go away basically). But I would think carefully about do you want to go back to them now they've taken a £hit on you for no reason.
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