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NSW Job Offer Withdrawn - What Can I Do?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Tanganika, 29 September 2014.

  1. Tanganika

    Tanganika Member

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    Hi. I applied for a job that was advertised on the SEEK website. I was employed at the time in a perfectly good job, which wasn't going to take me anywhere, but it was steady. The new job offered better prospects for advancement. It required that I undertake a Cert IV TAE course. I received the job offer, and after much deliberation, I quit my current job and enrolled in the training course.

    Today, I received an email saying the job offer had been withdrawn. I had even done a few hours in the office, familiarising myself with the job. I've been out of work for three weeks and have spent what little money I had on the training course. All correspondence was carried out via email.
    Do I have any legal options under employment law?
    Do I have any claim for compensation?

    Thanks.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Tanganika
    Did you sign an employment agreement?
     
  3. Tanganika

    Tanganika Member

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    No. It was all done via email and verbally.
     
  4. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tanganika

    This may seem like a simple question, but did you formally accept the job offer (either verbally or in writing)?

    It's hard to ascertain what legal rights you may have without knowing the terms and conditions of the job offer. In the absence of a formal, written contract, this will come down to all communications exchanged between you and the employer.

    For example, this might include such things as:

    - Agreed start date
    - Agreed type of employment (full-time, casual, fixed term etc)
    - Whether any probation or trial period applied

    etc etc.

    If you could please provide some more information about the details discussed with the employer we can give you more of an idea of options available to you.

    Thanks

    Anna
     
  5. Tanganika

    Tanganika Member

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    The job was advertised for a trainer to join the organization. It required a Cert IV TAE qualification which I was prepared to get. had three interviews with him. The first was to discuss the job itself. The second, I attended one of his training sessions to see what it was about. After a week we had a third interview where we discussed pay rates, conditions etc. After another week, during which I discussed the job at length with my family I decide to take the job. I emailed him, saying, if the job offer was still on the table I would accept it. He replied with "great news, I tried to call you, I'll call you tomorrow." I rang him that night and we discussed, my giving notice to my present employer and enrolling in the CERT IV course. I gave notice and enrolled in the course. After I completed the course I rang and emailed him repeatedly asking for a start date etc. He said he would check the schedule and get back to me. After a week he emailed me stating the " extra locations and students has not eventuated and thus we are over staffed". Before I started the CERT IV course I spent two afternoons at his office, going through the training procedure and filling out forms i.e. tax, super, bank account details. etc.

    Thank you for you time and interest, Anna.
    Regards
     
  6. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tanganika

    Thanks for providing the extra detail. This does sound like a bit of a tricky situation.

    I believe it will all come down to basic contract law, in terms of offer and acceptance. Ie:

    1. Did the employer give you an employment offer capable of being accepted?
    2. Did you, by your actions, accept this offer?

    If the answer to 1. is yes, then the employer would have to have withdrawn the offer prior to you accepting. It does not sound like that occurred, rather, the actions of both of you were consistent with having accepted the offer.

    If the answer to 1 is no, then there's a possibility that your email to the employer constituted an offer on your behalf (ie to request employment) and you then need to consider whether the employer's actions after that were consistent with them accepting your offer.

    When you spoke on the phone, did the employer use any words to the effect of confirming you had the job, discussing sending a contract to you etc? The words he used and his reactions to you stating you would quit your job are crucial here. Do you remember any more details of that conversation?

    At the very least, I would be contacting Fair Work Australia as soon as possible to lodge a complaint as there are certain timeframes within which complaints must be made. Then, pending your advice from them, I think you should seriously considering writing a letter to the employer setting out the way in which they have a breached a contract with you and the damages you seek.

    Call Fair Work first for their advice, and then let us know how you go and we can give some tips on writing a letter to the employer.

    Thanks

    Anna
     
    Tim W likes this.
  7. Tanganika

    Tanganika Member

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    Hi Anna,
    I contacted Fair Work Australia via their website. The reply I got was I would have to seek legal advice to resolve the issue. Should I ring them and talk to a human?
    I don't have the first idea how to write a letter of claim. I've was out of work for 4 weeks . I've managed to find a
    temporary job but that's only until 1st November . Four weeks wages after tax is about $3250 plus the cash spent on the course $1650 plus travel, food etc. I also bought some cloths and shoes which he suggested I buy so I'd look the part. So in round numbers I $5000 out of pocket. If I don't find work after 1st November it could be more.
    What do you think?
    I really appreciate your help.
     
  8. John Ou

    John Ou Member

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    Hi Anna,

    To echo this, my situation is more straight forward. I have a formal letter, signed with witness by the head hunter agency.

    The new company has return to me and the head hunter withdrew their offer due to change their plan.

    Is there any legal action I can take to compensate for the damages they caused me to resign from my stable, permanent full time job because of new job offer.
     
  9. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    You both should get legal advice from a local employment lawyer as soon as possible.
    You only have a 21 day limitation period to start the action from when you were dismissed.

    See Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You to be connected with a local employment lawyer.
     
    Tim W likes this.
  10. Serge Gorval

    Serge Gorval Well-Known Member

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    Going down the employment claim route, you're not protected from unfair dismissal but could bring an adverse action claim on the basis that you were either terminated or not hired ( cover off both options) for a proscriptive reason, did you make any enquiry or raise any issue that may have set them off ?

    Otherwise, you could bring a breach of contract claim specifically under promissory estoppel on the basis that you have suffered damage as a result on their reneg ( more difficult and expensive).
     

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