I have been offered a job and have accepted it - verbally and also by email. The email from my new employer said that a contract would issue shortly. I have since heard that another candidate for the job, who already works for the organisation, has sent an email to the members of the Board expressing her dismay at not having been appointed and stating that she would seek legal advice. The interview panel comprised three members of the Board (including one from the HSE and another from Údarás na Gaeltachta) and an outsider, the CEO of a similar local development company. I have already given notice in my current job and am concerned about my position.
1. Should an employer rescind an offer of a job after it has been accepted, the employer is liable for breach of contract to the employee for any loss suffered as a result of that breach of contract. In essence you are now in a contract of employment with your new employer, which arose by reason of their written offer and your written acceptance, even if the precise terms of that employment contract have still to be fleshed out and a formal contract covering terms not yet agreed has to come into existence.
2. You have also acted to your detriment in accepting the offer of employment because you have given notice in your existing job. The local development who has offered you a job would be liable to you in damages should you face a period without employment.
3. On a practical level your position is not affected by the fact someone is seeking legal advice. YOU HAVE ACTUALLY NOW GOT LEGAL ADVICE! As you are aware, in Ireland, many people seek legal advice every day of the week. Many do not have a case. You have also not given any indication that the interview and appointment process was flawed in any way.
4. You now have a new employment relationship coming into being. What happens with the other candidate is her business and will not affect your employment relationship.
Barrister 17 years experience
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