I've been dismissed by a company I was due to start a job with, just a few days before the job was meant to start. They have no intention of providing me with any compensation despite the fact I handed in my notice as my previous job, moved to the other end of the country, and signed a lease at a new property to take this job.
For more detail here is a timescale in which I'll use the abbreviation BCE to mean Before Commencement of Employment.
- 7 weeks BCE received and signed contract of employment with start date.
- At this time I handed in my notice to my then employer and landlord.
- I had little contact with the company or agent who hired me until 3 weeks BCE when the agent called me to check that everything was on track with my move.
- 1 week BCE I managed to secure and sign for a lease on a property in the city the new job was located in. I had to make multiple journeys and incur considerable costs to view properties and find somewhere to live.
- 3 days (1 working day) BCE the agent called me to inform me that the company would no longer be able to hire me because of financial difficulties.
- 1 day BCE I received email confirmation from the company they would no longer be able to hire me and that they were not expecting to compensate me.
It may be of note that I am UK based (I moved from the South coast to Scotland for the job) and although there was a probationary period specified in the contract I am under the impression that that would not have started at the point the employment was terminated.
Are there grounds for a breach of contract here?
After giving the company one last chance to compensate me for the notice period (which they refused), I got in contact with my local Citizens Advice Bureau. They recommended I send a Notice of Intent to Sue to the old company, with a detailed breakdown of damages.
In the letter asked the company for reimbursement for my notice period, all moving costs, and first month of rent as damages for the breach of contract. To my relief, they agreed to pay this amount in full, rather than challenging it in court.