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Declining a job as contract shows lower wage

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by johncosta, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. johncosta

    johncosta New commenter

    Hi All,

    Looking for a bit advice guidance on a situation I'm in.

    I verbally accepted a job with an academy over the phone. During the phone call, the wage was discussed and it was agreed that they would match my current band.

    However, when I got the contract through, it shows one band lower. I queried this with the head assuming it was a mistake. He was very rude and dismissive and said they cannot pay more than what was agreed. He still maintains that this is what was agreed.

    At this point, given his behaviour (and other things i have seen about the school), I do not even think I want to proceed with the job. I suffer from anxiety and I do not think I will be able to handle his bully tactics.

    My question is, can I legally decline the job (I haven't signed the contract) or could there be repercussions? I actually no longer want the job, so I don't want to be in a position where I decline, and then he offers more money, and I am forced to accept. I just want to flat out decline, but don't know how best to do this...
  2. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    Whether or not anyone has yet signed a written contract has no bearing on your rights here. (You would be in a difficult situation if you had signed it, since a signed contract is taken as acceptance of the trems in it, even if you hadn't read them properly.) The contract is created at the point at which an offer is made to you, on agreed terms and you accept it. Both sides therefore became contracted parties as a result of the telephone call.

    A person is only able to rescind a contract ('tear it up') if a party breaches a fundamental term of it. I believe that renaging on the agreed salary amounts to a breach of a fundamental term. In such circumstances, you are entitled to decline the job.

    You would write to the Head, set out what was agreed over the telephone and the basis on which you therefore accepted the job. You would state that you now rescind the contract on the basis that the salary published in the written contract is not as agreed and the HT's stated intention not to honour the agreement. You are not obliged to reconsider, if the HT subsequently offers to increase the salary, since he made it quite clear that he would not pay what was agreed.

    All the stuff about having second thoughts, the HT's attitude and 'other things about the school' are irrelevant here. The issue is that the HT has breached a fundamental term of the contract agreed between you and that is what gives you the right to walk away.

    Two words of caution:

    1) you need to be quite sure that the conversation you had with the HT on the phone left no room for ambiguity. Was an actual figure discussed? Salary was not just agreed vaguely as 'current band' without being specific about what that was?

    2) This information above is correct. However, do not act on it without running it past your union first or another qualified source of legal advice (lawyer; Citizens Advice). None of us on here is qualified to give legal advice.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  3. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    We haven't had a Kenny Rogers quote for a while so...

    Know when to walk away, know when to run.

    This is a job you should be running away from. The head is rude and deceitful and it looks as if the school finances are on the skids. Most schools are having financial problems but the head's action is one of bullying. S/he is treating you this way and you've not even been appointed yet. What sh *t is going to come your way when you're employed?
    blueskydreaming and JohnJCazorla like this.
  4. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Whatever you do put it in writing. The school should have sent you a written offer of employment following the interview confirming salary. It sounds like the Head needs some recruitment training!
    There is an old saying that a verbal agreement is not worth the paper it isn't written on!
  5. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Contact the union for advice straight away. If they have verbally offered you a salary and then a different one is disclosed on the contract, then this is technically a breach. It could be an administrative error, but you need clarification on this.
  6. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Are you 100% sure what was agreed?

    I doubt any head would go through the effort of a pay negotiation to then deliberately **** off a new employee before they have even started. If he was willing to **** you off, he could just as easily have refused your negotiations and said take it or leave it from the start.

    It does sound to me like an honest miscommunication or misunderstanding by one or both of you, which is unfortunate.

    Is it an academy with its own banding? If so, does the proposed band match on cash terms what you were on with your old band, albeit appearing to be lower?

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