Law guide: Employment

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Accepting or rejecting the job offer

Accepting or rejecting the job offer


The job offer letter

Any job offer or appointment should be confirmed in a letter setting out the main terms and conditions of employment. If you offer the job before taking up references and checking qualifications you should state that the offer is subject to the references and qualifications being satisfactory to you. The applicant should be asked to confirm in writing his/her acceptance of the job on the terms offered. This can be done by enclosing a copy of the letter which the candidate is asked to countersign and return.

The letter should set out:

  • The position that is being offered
  • The remuneration
  • The date of commencement of employment (if agreed)
  • The location
  • Any conditions to which the offer is subject
  • The timescale and procedure for acceptance/rejection of the offer

The letter may include other relevant details of terms and conditions of employment, acting as the first part of the employment contract. You may also specify any items or documentation you may wish the new employee to bring with them on their first day, e.g. birth & marriage certificates, passport, P45 etc.

Notifying an unsuccessful candidate

All unsuccessful job applicants should be informed as soon as possible of the company's decision not to employ them.

If a similar vacancy is likely to occur in the foreseeable future, any good applications should be put in a holding file so that they are readily available if another vacancy arises, or if the chosen candidate decides not to accept the job offered.