Letters of Offer: What to Cover
Excellent, you’ve gone through the advertising & interviewing processes, and have found a suitable candidate for your vacancy. You’ll want to get the job offer out as quickly as possible, intending to have your new employee working for you soon. Before you send off that letter of confirmation though, make sure it covers what it should, while not giving away more than you intended.
Formation of the Contract
A binding contract will be formed once the requirements of the job offer have been accepted. It is therefore important to ensure all necessary or possible conditions you may want to rely upon are included in the letter of offer; you will not be able to go back on this at a later stage, and a failure to honour the contract could result in a claim for breach of contract.
Points to Include
If the letter isn’t on headed paper, make it clear who the employer will be – if you’re a director, ensure the name of the company doing the hiring is clearly identifiable
The date the offer is made, and when this needs to be accepted by
The desired or required start date
The job title, or a brief description of the role
Conditions that will apply – your safety net.
Points to Consider Including
Statement of Particulars
Copy of staff handbook
There will be often be issues that employers haven’t been able to confirm before making the offer of employment, and these will need to be included in the letter of offer.
Medical examination – if this is a requirement, this should apply equally to all candidates, not selectively, for disabled people or others.
Proof of qualifications or abilities – most potential employees will have advised what formal qualifications they hold during the recruitment process, and employers will need to confirm these either before the employment or as part of the induction. For those employees who have declared abilities relevant to your vacancy, this will only be clear during the employment, so a probationary period will be necessary.
References – you are inviting a complete stranger into your workplace, so make sure any offer is subject to suitable references.
Criminal Records Check – even with references, employers should consider checking the candidate has no skeletons in the closet.
Eligibility to work in the UK – it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure their employees are eligible to work in the UK, so never rely on references for this, or even the fact that someone had previous employment. Business Link provides an online tool to assist employers, or contact Employment Law Clinic for assistance: