Introduction to this document

Offer of appointment letter

Once you have taken the decision on the successful candidate, a job offer can be made, either in writing or over the telephone. If you make an offer verbally, always confirm it in writing using our offer of appointment letter.

Verbal agreements

Whilst it’s fairly common for job offers to be made verbally, at least initially, the difficulty with not confirming them in writing is that there is no record of what you have offered the new employee so it will be your word against theirs in the event of a dispute. Therefore, our Offer of Appointment Letter ensures you cover all the basics of the offer, such as work location, line manager details, salary, holidays, hours of work and notice provision. Our letter also makes clear that there’s to be a probationary period, which enables you to assess the new employee’s suitability for the employment. Finally, it includes optional sections for if the offer of appointment is being made on a fixed-term basis.

References and preventing illegal working

It’s common for job offers to be made conditional on the receipt of satisfactory references or on other information/documentation being provided and our letter gives these options. Usually, at least one work-related reference will be required, unless this is the new employee’s first job, in which case you will usually ask for a reference from their school, college or university. We’ve also included a requirement that the employee produce the relevant documents to demonstrate their entitlement to work in the UK (or alternatively gives their consent to your checking their right to work in the UK through the Home Office online right to work checking service).

Sign on the dotted line

Always ask the new employee to sign and return a copy of the offer letter, as soon as possible and well before they start work, to signify their acceptance of its terms. You must then provide a statutory written statement of employment particulars to the new employee no later than when they begin their employment with you (this timeline applies to employees who commence employment on or after 6 April 2020), or you can issue them with a more detailed contract of employment that also incorporates all of the statutory employment particulars.