Job offer retracted

Hello all. This is my first post here and I’d be very grateful if someone could give me a bit of friendly advice…
So I applied for a full time sales job through an employment agency. Passed the 1st stage interview and got called back for a 2nd interview. I had to present a PowerPoint 20 minute presentation on ‘customer satisfaction’ within the sales industry. I did well with my presentation, to the point where the employer asked to save a hard copy of my presentation to their laptop. Anyways, I was offered the job, which I happily accepted. This was on the 8th December. I was told that the official start date for the role was 4th Jan 2016. But I was asked to attend the end of year review management meetings last week, on 16th&17th of December. I attended these days and as the role requires driving around the UK, you get a company car. I was asked to bring in my driving licence on these days for the company to carry out DVLA checks. I couldn’t find my photo ID licence, so I called the DVLA to apply for a replacement licence and I was informed, at my surprise, that my licence status had been ‘rovoked’ purely because I didn’t send my licence to the DVLA after getting 3 penalty points in December 2014. I didn’t send my licence away as I wasn’t aware that I had to. I paid the £300 fine and did not contest the 3 points I received at Magistrates Court. I got the points for having heavily tinted windows that were on the car when I purchased it a year prior. Anyways, I was told by the DVLA that it’s an easy fix to get my licence re-instated, by just applying via a DVLA form and sending it away. I should then receive the new licence within 2-3 weeks. I haven’t had a car to drive since Jan 2015, so I never checked on my licence status up until now. So when I attended the end of year team meetings at my new employer, I took in the paper licence copy and explained to the HR lady that I have a licence but it’s currently in a ‘revoked’ status, but I assured HR that by 4th Jan 2016, my licence will be valid for my new job start. So today I got an email from HR that the job offer has been retracted due to my licence status, even though I was honest when I told her about my licence currently being revoked. Also, the employer told me my ‘employment contract’ was sent out 2 weeks ago, that I never received. I think this is really unfair as why should it matter as long as my licence is completely valid upon 4th Jan 2016, my start date, and that I’ve been honest from the start. It’s not as though my licence has been revoked due to drink driving or I’m on a driving ban for exceeding the penalty point system. I only have 3 points on my licence. I have emails from HR offering me the job and the replies from myself accepting the job. Even when I replied today to the email from HR saying the job offer has been retracted, my reply saying I will have the licence before my start date, I was given a reply of ‘the offer being retraced is a final decision’… If makes me think the whole situation is a tad ‘fishy’ and this is just an excuse of some sort not to employ me!?? Appreciate all advice given… Does anyone know where I stand legally with this huge dilemma I’m facing???
Many thanks,

I’m guessing this was in the UK based on clues in your post?

In the US they can retract a job offer at any time for any reason unless it is a restricted form of discrimination (gender, race, sexual orientation, age to some degree, etc.). Here in the US while it seems unfair it’s not illegal.

In most jobs you’re “at-will” also which means you can be fired for any non-discriminatory reason after being hired. There are some “for cause” jobs or contractual positions where you can only be fired under particular circumstances, and in some jobs a union can protect you from being casually fired, but those are exceptions.

Since the OP is looking for legal advice, let’s move this to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I believe it’s perfectly legal to retract a job offer in the US. I see here that the laws are different in the UK if the job offer is unconditional. So was the offer conditional or unconditional?

Perhaps they feel, if you’re so blissfully unaware of the requirements to keep your liscence in good standing, you’re not a good fit for a job requiring you drive all about the country in a company car?

They probably feel a professional, grown ass man ought not be claiming, “Garsh, I just didn’t know!” About this particular thing, or anything actually.

(I am not aware of how things are in your country. These are just wild ass guesses on my part. My opinion is only worth what you paid for it!)

Wishing you good luck on finding another position!

I once had a job offer retracted, was hired by a camera shop over the phone, called later and asked what the hourly rate was, the owner replied that it would be whatever they start new hires at, thank you. I showed up at the appointed time for my first day of work and the store clerk was puzzled when I said I was reporting for work, called the owner then let me know I didn’t have a job. I know it was weird of me to call and ask about the hourly wage later, but hey, I was young.

I know the UK has more worker protections than the US, but I’m willing to bet that whatever paperwork you signed included statement from you that your license was in good standing or had a clause that the offer was only valid pending the license check. In my experience, if you’re at a large company and going to be driving a company vehicle, your license needs to be up to date and clean for several years, showing up with a revoked license would get you laughed out of the office.

“Also, the employer told me my ‘employment contract’ was sent out 2 weeks ago, that I never received” probably didn’t help either.

I’m not clear on why you feel persecuted. Based on your own OP you are borderline oblivious about your drivers license status being revoked. If I was your potential employer you would come across as person who does not take care of basic adult competence issues involving the ability to drive and you are applying for a sales position that involves driving.

Who wants to hire someone who doesn’t have enough on the ball to make sure his driver’s license is valid?

I sure hope that Power Point presentation was better organized than the OP’s wall o’text.

“the employer asked to save a hard copy of my presentation to their laptop”

How does one save a hard copy to a laptop?

I cannot speak for the UK, but I do know that in my jurisdiction, job offers are often extended conditionally, pending some sort of background check. The background check must apply to the requirements of the job–so, for example, if the job requires driving a company car, a valid driver’s license must be shown, and a driver’s abstract must be provided. Conversely, if the check has nothing to do with the job, (there is no need to check whether a bookkeeper has a driver’s license, for example), it cannot be performed.

My guess is that, in the facts the OP has provided, the offer was conditional. Since the OP would be driving a company car, the company wanted to make sure that he or she was qualified to drive a company car–that he or she currently has (not “will have on the first day of work”) a valid driver’s license, and a clean abstract. When the OP admitted that his or her driver’s license was revoked, and the abstract wasn’t clean, it saved the company a lot of time and trouble checking this out, and so, the offer was revoked.

As I said, I’m no expert on UK employment law. But based on my experience practising employment law in my jurisdiction, this seems to me to be the most logical conclusion.

I am in the UK, and every job offer I ever had was conditional on such things as references, qualification and background checks.

As an ex transport manager, I would have withdrawn the offer too. Although I may have invited a good candidate to reapply once the licence problem was resolved.

Its a shitty sales job, the moment there was a problem they just cut him loose and we t to the next person on the list.

Having never had any penalty points i had no idea you send off your licence - and i have no idea why the DVLA wants it. Youd think theyd just record the points against your licence number and anyone who should be able to know can check with them. It seems like pointless bureaucratic busywork.

In my experience people who don’t have a driver’s license always have some complicated story about how it’s all some big bureaucratic mixup that will be straightened out soon but the clerks over at the whatever are giving them the runaround.

Usually the real story is a lot simpler.

“My dog ate it”?

A copy to the laptop hd. Lots of stupid unhelpful replies here.


  1. The job offer is contingent upon you having a license.
  2. You do not have said license.
  3. Therefore, they revoked the job offer.

I’m having difficulty seeing the confusion here.

You very likely have no legal recourse, other than being a gadfly who their highly-priced lawyers will then swat down.

My advice: Get the license, apply for a similar position. Or, hell, even the same one - they hired you once before, right?

What was the gem of wisdom you had to offer?

Dude essentially loses his job right before Christmas and all you have to offer is snark. Maybe Santa will bring you some empathy friday tinman.