Employment Law – Confirmation that a verbal offer and acceptance creates a contract of employment between the parties whether an exact start date is agreed or not.
In a recent Tribunal case, withdrawal of job offer made by agency costs the employer £3000.
In the case of McCann v Snozone Ltd, an Employment Tribunal awarded a claimant damages for breach of contract where he verbally accepted a job offer made by a recruitment agency acting for the employer, and the employer subsequently withdrew the offer. The employer subsequently denied that an offer of employment had been made and Mr McCann brought a claim in the Tribunal for damages for breach of contract.
The Employment Tribunal held that the employer, acting through its agent (the agency), verbally offered a job to Mr McCann, which he accepted, creating a contract of employment. As the employer terminated the contract without notice by withdrawing the offer of employment, Mr McCann was entitled to damages for breach of contract equal to salary in lieu of notice. In the absence of agreed terms, the Tribunal determined that a minimum reasonable contractual notice period was one month. The Tribunal therefore awarded Mr McCann damages for breach of contract amounting to one month’s salary of £2,708, in addition to a refund of the relevant Tribunal fees.
This case should serve as a warning to employers that a verbal offer and acceptance creates a contract regardless of whether the start date is set or not.
Contact Richard at RCW HR Solutions on 07850 208701 or by email as set out on our profile page if you require any advice around how and when job offers ought to be made, or any other employment law advice you may require.