Withdraw job offer due to temp business closure (COVID-19)

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richiwatts

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Oct 22, 2014
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We had a new employee starting tomorrow 1st April.
We sent the contract and offer on 27th March.
He was due to sign the contract when he arrived on his first day, tomorrow.
As of today, we have decided to shut the business until further notice due to COVID-19 and put all staff on Furlough leave.
He would not be entitled to Furlough as you had to be on the payroll before 28th February.

We wrote to him explaining the situation but he is not accepting it and said that our verbal made him accept another offer that is now no longer available and that we need to respect our written and verbal offer.

Are we liable to commit to the offer even though no contracts were signed?
Our contract says: The Company is obliged to give you the statutory minimum amount of notice before terminating your contract. So maybe we are liable for at least 1 week which is the minimum by law?

Is there anything we can do to help him legally?
Take him on but put him on SSP due to unsafe environment to work? Not sure f this is legal.
Extend the start date to 1st May. He might be open to this but what if we can't open on 1st May if things carry on?

We certainly can't carry an additional wage if we are shut but trying to find the best solution for both sides.
 

Mr D

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Feb 12, 2017
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Do you need to do anything?
He disagrees with you about starting but if business is closed then what can he do?
 
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He has been employed for less that two years so.....

Tell the guy he can start work from home. At 9.05am call him and say "Great to have you as a member of the team. Sadly due to the global business melt down caused by Covid-19 I have no work for you (or any other staff) to do and am shutting the business. Your services will no longer be required. You will be paid for today and your statutory notice... I wish you well for the future".
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,234
4,585
Newcastle
I delayed replying so that you did not get a knee jerk reaction, but I have to say it.
We had a new employee starting tomorrow 1st April.
We sent the contract and offer on THURSDAY 27th March.
He was due to sign the contract when he arrived on his first day, tomorrow.
As of today, TUESDAY we have decided to shut the business until further notice due to COVID-19 and put all staff on Furlough leave.
I have added the days in bold.

How can anyone run a company, even in these most trying of times in such a way that they believe they need a new member of staff, but decide they are closing the business 3 working days later.

You can do anything you like, legally to help him. Sadly for him you have no obligation to do anything except pay any contractual notice in the document that you sent.

On mature reflection he may consider he had a lucky escape.
 
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STDFR33

Free Member
Aug 7, 2016
4,711
1,269
You’re joking right ?

No, not all.

How can you offer someone a job and then rescind the offer just a few days later once they’ve have accepted it?

Piss poor business on your part, and you’ve messed someone around because of it.
 
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DontAsk

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Jan 7, 2015
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How can you offer someone a job and then rescind the offer just a few days later once they’ve have accepted it?

Happens all the time in big, "well run" companies.

A friend of mine was made redundant after one week at a large multi-national tech firm. Recruitment can take a long time. Often hiring managers will not know about downsizing plans as they are still confidential.
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,234
4,585
Newcastle
He can ask his former employees to be put on their furlough. It is not them paying at the end of the day and then you can negotiate a new start date for when all of this all blows over. Alex
He can ask, however an employer can only take back to furlough an employee who has been laid off or made redundant due to Covid-19. This employee is unlikely to qualify. In addition taking an employee back is not at 0 cost - they continue to accrue holiday and employment rights.
 
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Financial-Modeller

Business Member
Jul 3, 2012
1,221
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Happens all the time in big, "well run" companies.

A friend of mine was made redundant after one week at a large multi-national tech firm. Recruitment can take a long time. Often hiring managers will not know about downsizing plans as they are still confidential.

It seems that unlike in a larger company with various decision-makers with various remits and authority, the decision maker in this instance offered a prospective employee a job on Friday, but decided to close his company on Monday!
 
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richiwatts

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Oct 22, 2014
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Thanks to all the sensible answers. I offered two options to him:
  • We give you notice today and pay the 1-week notice required. Even though we hadn't signed a contract we would honour that.
  • Extend the start date by 1 month. If after that time we still can't open will honour the minimum notice requirement.
He chose the latter.

I presented facts about the situation in question and some people just make pathetic assumptions.

Our biggest client told us up until last Monday it is business as usual. We need to stay prepared for that and have contingencies in place. Monday they pull the plug on all orders with no warning. Things have been changing daily and we have been constantly playing catch-up.

Maybe you just have different business models and deem everybody else stupid if their modelling doesn't match yours.
 
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antropy

OpenCart Experts
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Aug 2, 2010
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He can ask, however an employer can only take back to furlough an employee who has been laid off or made redundant due to Covid-19.
That isn't true, a friend of mine's start date at their new company was pushed back when they were meant to join this week but their former employees kept them on the books so that they could get the furlough pay. Alex
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,234
4,585
Newcastle
That isn't true, a friend of mine's start date at their new company was pushed back when they were meant to join this week but their former employees kept them on the books so that they could get the furlough pay. Alex
They may have done so, but they cannot, legally, at the moment, claim the 80% in those circumstances.

EDIT: If they never left the previous employer that works - they simply agree to allow the employee to withdraw theu notice. The problem arises if they have already left.
 
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They may have done so, but they cannot, legally, at the moment, claim the 80% in those circumstances.

EDIT: If they never left the previous employer that works - they simply agree to allow the employee to withdraw theu notice. The problem arises if they have already left.

We done this, employee was meant to leave 30th of last month, his job offer got withdrawn, we allowed him to withdraw his resignation and kept him on.
 
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