Rkn61
Hr Manager
KK!HR
Management Consultancy

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Anonymous
Hi All, I am working for German based MNC company has a HR executive. We are small company with 50 employees. Recently we have released an job offer letter for one engineer in Feb-2020 , mentioning the joining date will on or before 6th April 2020. He accepted the offer but mentioned his joining date will be 15th April 2020 . We agreed for revised joining date verbally and initiated the background verification process. But I have not released any revised offer letter for his new joining date.

Unfortunately, because of COVID -19 lockdown and economy crisis, our business has dropped drastically and our Parent company has freezed all new hirings and new joinings. We tried to get approval for this offered position , but no luck.

On 14th April , we received an email from candidate mentioning that , his reliving has not completed in his present company and he will join our company once he get relieve from the previous company.

On 14th April 2020 I have called the candidate and explained about our company present scenario and our parent company decision on hiring , and told him that because of that we revoking the offer but,we will consider your job offer if we get approval for your position.

I also suggested him to check for the option to continue his employment in his present company since he was not relieved from his company.

On 17th April same thing I wrote in an email to him and mentioned that, we will consider his job offer once we receive the approval from our headquarters.

Again candidate wrote on email on 28th April 2020 asking us to consider his offer.

Since I have not received approval from our parent company, we were not in a position to accommodate him. Since I replayed him that, we are sorry, we are not able to offer you the job and the made offer has been cancelled.

Now he came back mentioning that, this is illegal and he would like to discuss this with our top management about this otherwise he will issue a legal notice.

I need you guys advise on below points

1. We have released only offer letter not appointment letter - in this case, are we bound to provide employment to him legally ?

2. In Offer letter we mentioned joining date will be on or before 4th april 2020, but he accepted offer by mentioning DOJ will be 15th april 2020. He missed both joining dates. : Can I stand on this point and say made offer is no more valid since he missed both joining dates?

From India, Mumbai
Job Offer letter is not a legal document. But an Appointment offer is certainly a valid document.
Based on your offer, the candidate has put his resignation to his current employer and subsequently he informed your company that his relieving was not completed, and hence he requires more time. As he was not relieved at that point of time, he could not join and hence his current position is "neither there nor here".
So ethically speaking your company should provide him an opportunity. You can inform your top management and if necessary, arrange to hold a meeting with him and listen to him. You can also be assertive in informing him about your company's plan due to Covid-19. Let's see what will be happening.

From India, Aizawl
My comments are as follows:

1. You issued offer letter, the candidate instead of accepting it made a counter offer, deferring the joining date. There is no written communication from your side accepting the changed date. But the candidate did not join even on that date. Then you retracted the job offer although the reason was the change in job scenario.

You are not legally wrong in withdrawing the offer as the candidate did not accept your offer as such and secondly he did not also act as per his revised offer. So his offer to join you on a later date is not valid and binding on you.

2. An offer of appointment made can be withdrawn later if the circumstances drastically change. Now, it is accepted that the onset of Corona is a 'Force Majeure' condition like natural calamity and any action taken as a consequence thereof gives ample excuse to retract the promise or offer made. So you need not worry, even if he goes for litigation in the matter.

From India, Mumbai
My comments are as follows:

1. You issued offer letter, the candidate instead of accepting it made a counter offer, deferring the joining date. There is no written communication from your side accepting the changed date. But the candidate did not join even on that date. Then you retracted the job offer although the reason was the change in job scenario.

You are not legally wrong in withdrawing the offer as the candidate did not accept your offer as such and secondly he did not also act as per his revised offer. So his offer to join you on a later date is not valid and binding on you.

2. An offer of appointment made can be withdrawn later if the circumstances drastically change. Now, it is accepted that the onset of Corona is a 'Force Majeure' condition like natural calamity and any action taken as a consequence thereof gives ample excuse to retract the promise or offer made. You have also made the position clear to him to look for alternatives available. You need not worry, even if he goes for litigation in the matter.

From India, Mumbai
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