QLD Employment Offer Retracted - Where Do I Stand?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Annoyed_candiate, 2 February 2018.

  1. Annoyed_candiate

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    I was offered a FIFO role on a mine site via an employment agency and told to begin inductions and have a medical. I was told the start date. I was not provided with an employment contract or letter of offer but told they don't provide offers until medical results have been assessed.

    The morning after the medical and the day last working day before starting I was told that the employment offer had been retracted due to change circumstances at the business.

    My questions are:

    1. Can the employer retract the offer? Even if it was verbal?

    2. I spent about 2 days of time doing inductions and medicals directed by the agent on behalf of the employer. Should I be compensated for this time?

    3. It seems to me that there was an offer and I was directed by the agent to do pre-employment tasks on the employers system and therefore employment was intended.

    4. I also have out of pocked expenses parking, travel costs, consumables etc for preparing to start work

    Where do I stand?

    Any help appreciated.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    1. Only if done before your acceptance. Seems unlikely to apply here.
    2. Not unless that was part of the offer
    3. Offer seems to only be conditional on passing the medical. If you passed the medical then there is no basis to cancel.
    4. See 2.

    You likely have a claim for breach of contract. Try to negotiate some damages anyway, and if no luck see a lawyer.
     
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  3. jsw

    jsw Active Member

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    I disagree with the above. You are not an employee and your employment contract is not in effect until the commencement day specified on your contract - which you never received anyway. An employer can rescind offers of employment prior to commencement in the same way that a candidate can pull out of a job the day before starting - you don't see any company entering into litigation with an employee for 'breach of contract' do you.

    The costs you have accrued are normal in any 'finding a job' activities. Employers are not responsible for paying costs of job seekers.
     
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  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    This matter is a contractual issue. If the offer is only conditional on a medical it is not relevant if there is a commencement date or not. What matters is acceptance because a binding contract needs to have been created.

    Neither are able to pull out without consequences. It just happens to be the practice that employers do not sue for a breach because they just step down to candidate number 2. It is different for people who have resigned and can't get their old job back.

    Not having terms in writing makes it harder, but by no means impossible to win a case for damages.

    BTW, it is complicated because agency comes into play, but the above principles apply.
     
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  5. Annoyed_candiate

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    Thanks for the responses. I can see JSW's first point. However I don't think spending 2 1/2 days doing Inductions that were directed by the employer and utilising the employers internal systems is not normal job finding activity. I think it shows intention to employ. I am in contact with the employer and will attempt to negotiate at least some compensation.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    If the talks don't resolve anything, you may also have a claim under the Fair Work Act which gives prospective employees some rights.
     
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  7. maddog

    maddog Member

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    Firstly, sorry to hear you are in this situation. It sounds very stressful. Rod is leading you astray.

    Yes you have a contract - verbal.

    But the remedies under the FWA are not great in this situation. You can't sue for 'damages' for breach of contract as Rod claims. The relevant section is s 117 of the FW Act which states the employer is required to give notice to terminate the contract.

    The most you can 'sue' for is 1 week's pay. This can be done at the Fair Work Ombudsman and the time limit is 6 years.

    Welcome to the Fair Work Ombudsman website

    The 21 day time limit is only for unfair dismissal. Which is not what has happened here.

    Even if it was an UFD claim you would not be entitled to more than a week anyway.

    It is harsh but that is how it works. Sorry to hear your story.
     
    #7 maddog, 13 March 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: 13 March 2018
  8. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Why are you saying damages are not available under a common law claim?

    The FWA is NOT the only available avenue open to an employee.
     
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