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Miscommunication between employer and employment agency about job offer costs employer £3,000

Employers using an employment agency for recruitment purposes should make sure they agree a process and documentation for the agency to follow which clarify when the agency is authorised to make a job offer, and how they should do so, following a recent ruling.

An employer used a recruitment agency to find candidates for an engineer’s role. The agency telephoned one of the candidates and offered him the job over the phone, but without mentioning either the salary or start date.

The employer later claimed that the candidate had not been offered the job and there was no contract of employment between them. The candidate argued that there was, and claimed breach of contract in the Employment Tribunal (ET).

The ET ruled that the agency had offered him the job and, when he accepted the offer, the parties had created a legally binding contract.

To end the contract, the employer had to give the employee notice of termination. As it had failed to do so the employee was entitled to compensation equal to one month’s salary (and the ET’s) – which amounted to £3,000.

Operative date

• Now

Recommendation

• Employers using an employment agency for recruitment purposes should make sure they agree a process and documentation for the agency to follow and use which makes clear when the agency is authorised to make a job offer, and how they should do so

Case ref: McCann v Snozone Ltd ET/3402068/2015

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Jonathan Waters is the founder of Helix Law. Before qualifying as a Solicitor he worked in industry and in investment banking for over a decade. He was also the Partner in charge of Commercial Litigation, Employment Law and Property Litigation at Stephen Rimmer LLP. Jonathan has wide experience of helping and advising businesses to avoid or to deal with commercial disputes and in particular construction disputes.

 

This article is written to raise awareness of the issues it discusses and it may not be updated after it is first written, even if the law changes. It is not intended to be legal advice and cannot be relied on as such. Helix Law is not responsible or liable for any action taken or not taken as a result of  this article. If you think the matters set out affect you and you wish to apply them to your particular circumstances then we are happy to give you free initial telephone advice. 

Contact Helix Law on 01273 761 990 or email: [email protected]