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What candidates can do when companies revoke offer letters

Industry and law experts say candidates should look out for red flags that could indicate that their offer letter has been revoked. And there are ways to move on.

August 30, 2022 / 01:53 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Reports suggest that top tech companies Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple have implemented hiring freezes in anticipation of a recession. Even startups are said to be have scaled down recruitments amid a funding crunch.

As companies act pre-emptively to cut costs amid the likelihood of an economic downturn, candidates with job offers, especially freshers, are suffering.

Raghav Sainik (name changed) was hoping to join a company after clearing multiple interviews and receiving the offer letter. However, his joining date was pushed twice and he was later told to wait till “further communication.”

“There has been no clear answer from HR,” Sainik said. “I think they have decided not to move forward with the onboarding.”

The experience of candidates like Sainik show the hardships and uncertainty that jobseekers face after companies revoke offer letters or indefinitely delay joining dates.

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Industry and law experts have jotted down red flags that every candidate should look out for to figure out if their offer letter has been revoked and the options that can help them move on.

Reasons for revocation

According to Navneet Singh, founder of staffing firm Avsar, there are various reasons that lead to the revocation of an offer letter:

●      The candidate fails to clear the background check

●      The candidate doesn’t acknowledge emails or answer calls

●      The employer learns the candidate is job hunting after getting the offer letter

●      The role is no longer available or has been put on hold due to unpredicted changes

“The firm tends to inform them regarding the revoking through mail,” Singh said.

He pointed out that candidates can always ask the company for a detailed explanation to understand if they went wrong somewhere or if there was an unexpected change in the organisation. This may help them in the future.

Also, the candidate can enquire about the possibility of the job reopening later and about part-time opportunities and vacancies in other departments.

What candidates can do

Experienced candidates should first look at revoking their resignation from their current employer, said Mahesh Bhatt, chief business officer of payroll services company TeamLease Services. This may help them avoid a situation of not having a job, he said.

Freshers should start applying in other companies and should not become too picky while selecting jobs.

“If they are flexible and ready to relocate, they may land with a job offer sooner than later as many companies are opening centres in tier-2 and tier-3 cities like Nagpur, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar and Vizag,” Bhatt said.

With the rupee depreciating against the dollar and companies reducing costs by shifting to smaller cities and towns, it may only be a matter of time before normalcy is restored in the job market and revocation of offers becomes a thing of the past, he explained.

Legal option

An offer whose acceptance has been duly communicated becomes binding on the parties and an employee may sue for damages if loss has been caused to him/her, said Suyash Srivastava, a partner at DSK Legal.

However, because the candidate has not yet started his/her employment, there is not much protection accorded to them under Indian employment laws.

“An offer letter is a legal contract between the firm and the new employee and when the employer revokes the offer letter, it is a breach of the contract,” Singh of Avsar said, explaining that both parties in the contract can discharge each other from contractual obligations only voluntarily.
Abhishek Sahu covers HR and Careers at Moneycontrol.
first published: Aug 30, 2022 01:53 pm
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