You’ve advertised for a job, an interview has been undertaken and you have offered the job but something has arisen and you now wish to withdraw the offer, can you do this?
It is important to remember employing an employee is a contract of service so you could potentially be in breach of the contract. When making a job offer, its always good practice to make the offer conditional on a number of things, such as two satisfactory references, receipt of the individuals right to work in the UK or a valid driving licence. If these cannot be satisfied then you can withdraw the job offer with no repercussions.
However, if you wish the withdraw the offer due to another reason which is unrelated such as you’ve now found a better candidate for the role then you first need to look at whether the job offer has been accepted yet. If the job offer has not yet been accepted then no contract will be in place therefore you would be able to withdraw the offer, as long as the reasons for withdrawal are not unlawful due to discrimination.
If the job offer has been accepted then you would be in breach of contract by withdrawing the offer. The individual would be entitled to claim wrongful dismissal and any damages from you for what would have been their notice period had they started the job. They could also try and argue the withdrawal of the job offer is discriminatory if they have a protected characteristic such as a disability so ensure you can show the real reason for the withdrawal.