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Can an Offer of Employment be Withdrawn?

Can an Offer of Employment be Withdrawn?

Is it legal to withdraw an offer of employment? Read our guide to find out how and when an offer of employment can be withdrawn.

11th February 2020

So, you receive an email informing you that your job offer has been withdrawn. Your potential employer has given you no indication that they will not offer employment to you. You consider if this is legal. Essentially, it is legal but only under certain circumstances. This article will focus when a withdrawal offer of employment occurs and the potential legal recourse that can be taken.

Is it Legal to Withdraw an Offer of Employment?

In essence, it is legal for your employer to withdraw an offer of employment. The most common reasons for the act in withdrawing your offer can include:

  • There is no longer a need for the position/role
  • You are not considered a good fit for the position/role

The employer has validly withdrawn your offer on employment if you fail a criminal background check or misrepresent anything that has been spoken about during the recruitment process.

What Steps can be Taken if an Offer of Employment has been Withdrawn?

There are several avenues for legal redress if your offer of employment has been rescinded. Generally, when an offer of employment agreement has been made but you have not accepted the offer, the offer can be rescinded. This is because there is no legally binding agreement between you and the employer.

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Additionally, your employer may be liable for misleading and deceptive conduct if you have resigned from your previous position due to representations made by the new employer and your employment contract. Further, you can write a formal letter to your employer stating reasons with evidence informing the employer of a breach of a legal contract. You should consult a lawyer to ensure that the proper actions available to you have been taken prior to sending a formal letter.

On the other hand, if you have accepted the offer as well as signed the employment agreement and have reason to believe that the offer of employment was rescinded due to discrimination, you can contact the Fairwork Australia to lodge a complaint. You must be aware that there are certain timeframe limitations that exists with lodging a complaint.

Can you Withdraw an Offer of Employment?

We have covered that it is legal for employers to withdraw an offer of employment. An offer of employment can be withdrawn if it has not been accepted by you. You can refuse the offer of employment. This is because there has been no legally binding employment agreement. There may be terms and conditions within the employment contract that stipulates legal actions that will be taken by the employer if the contract has been breached.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, an employer is entitled to withdraw an offer of employment. It is crucial to be aware of the legal consequences of rescinding an offer to avoid legal liability. Legal consultation must be taken as a first step before complaints and damages are sought.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

Author
Cecilia Tran

Cecilia is a final year law student completing her Practical Legal Training at Lawpath. She has an avid interest in intellectual property.