Job offer retraction - what to do?
July 8, 2011 1:29 PM   Subscribe

I've had a job offer retracted, and it's utterly screwed up my life. Where do I go from here?

If I could sum up how I'm feeling right now in a noise, it would be "GNNNRNRNRNNARARANARNAGHH".

For the last three years or so I worked for a major publishing company in the UK. Even though I loved the job, I didn't get a promotion in those three years, and I only got meagre payrises. I took a job at a small, non-competing company six months ago, which meant a payrise and some good experience in a related field.

About a month ago, a job came up at the original publishing company. I passed the interview with flying colours and was offered a job. I had a hard time making up my mind, because there was a lot I liked about my then-current job, but I accepted the new job and handed in my notice. The small company replaced me pretty quickly.

Yesterday I got a call from the publisher at the new company. My job offer's been retracted due to an ongoing company-wide financial review which basically means I'm unemployed and completely screwed. I've been in touch with the publishing company to see if I can get some kind of severance pay - they've offered a week, which is ridiculous considering I've got rent to pay and I'm basically completely out of pocket. I've been seeking legal advice too - I went to the Citizen's Advice Bureau this morning, and they said I should negotiate with the company to try and get a month's pay. I've got a lot of support from friends with friends in employment law, and have had a bit of advice in terms of if/when I should sue the company. I've got a bit saved up, and I should be OK for the next month or so. I don't want to burn any bridges with the publishing company, but at the same time I'm pretty angry about the situation.

I've also been in touch with the small company I worked for, I'm waiting to hear back from them. As far as I'm concerned there's not going to be a role there for me because they've already filled it.

I hope that all makes sense. I was just wondering if anyone's found themselves in the same boat, and how they proceeded?

I'm in the UK by the way. And no, the major publishing company isn't News International.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I would be in personal touch with a legal professional, even if you have to pay for it. I have no idea how legal fees are structured there, or if a contingency fee arrangement is possible, but they may be better able to negotiate on your behalf. They may also tell you whether it will be possible to negotiate in an amicable way and still be successful.

Being in touch with a legal professional involves you, yourself, talking to them. Legal advice is easily mangled when it's passed between friends who are not themselves involved in the practice of law.
posted by Hylas at 1:44 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Before you burn through all your savings you should get yourself down to the job centre and apply for JSA and housing benefits.

Had you signed a contract yet? You say you already have legal advice so I assume that's not what you're looking for here. So how to proceed is get a firm handle on your legal rights (if any) - knowing their legal obligations to you and your rights will help your position in negotiations and get as much money out of them as you can (I would ask for twice as much as you actually want and negotiate down from there but if they have no legal obligation towards you then you might just have to accept whatever they offer). Then go claim the benefits you're entitled to and start looking for a new job.
posted by missmagenta at 2:26 PM on July 8, 2011

Consultation with an employment lawyer, immediately. I'm not exactly a litigation-happy person, but this is a serious situation that needs to be handled properly to preserve your options and not make things worse. Ultimately, you are going to get them to hire you for real this time, pay you a bunch of money as compensation, or get absolutely nothing. If you launch into negotiations now and manage to get a month's pay as compensation, it's going to be a heck of a lot more difficult to try to get any more compensation if you're, unfortunately, out of work for a while because of this. As missmagenta says, you can't negotiate until you have a full understanding of your rights, and that really needs to come from a specialist with an understanding of the details of the situation and the terms of the offer.
posted by zachlipton at 8:05 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

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