Why are employment offer letters important?
An employment offer letter confirms a job offer to a successful candidate. Whilst acceptance can create a legally binding employment contract, the offer letter is normally used to set out a conditional offer based on successful references and confirmation of qualifications.
Largely, the employment offer letter is an outline of the contract of employment, where the candidate will be required to sign a full written contract once they have accepted the job offer in principle. The full contract should reflect the key employment terms and conditions already set out, or signposted, within the offer letter, but can also contain other contractual provisions, such as confidentiality and non-compete clauses.
Therefore, if the employment offer letter sets out that the individual’s employment is subject to pre-employment checks, these conditions must be met for the offer to stand. If the results of these checks are not satisfactory, the offer of the job may be lawfully withdrawn. If the offer contained within your letter is ‘unconditional’, once someone has accepted an unconditional job offer, this will create a legally binding contract of employment.
Should you try to withdraw a job offer in these circumstances, the candidate will be entitled to be paid for the period of notice set out in the offer – and therefore it is important to be clear on whether the offer is conditional or unconditional, before issuing the offer letter.
If you have any concerns about what to put in an offer letter, contact us at email@example.com.