Offering someone a job - Recruitment

Offering someone a job

Once you've decided who to hire, you can make them a job offer.

You can make a job offer verbally, but it's better in writing to avoid misunderstandings later on.

Check they have the right to work in the UK

When you offer someone a job, you must ask for proof that they have the right to work in the UK.

You could be fined up to £20,000 if you do not check this.

Check a job applicant's right to work on GOV.UK

Offering a job to someone from outside the UK

You should plan ahead if you want to offer a job to someone from outside the UK. Under immigration law:

  • you'll need a sponsor licence to hire most employees and workers from outside the UK
  • anyone you recruit from outside the UK will need to meet certain requirements

You'll need to check whether you need a sponsor licence, what type of sponsor licence to apply for and what requirements need to be met.

Find out more about UK visa sponsorship for employers on GOV.UK

Offering a job to someone from the European Economic Area or Switzerland

The majority of European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens will need to prove their right to work using the right to work service on GOV.UK

The EEA includes:

  • all countries in the EU
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway

Irish citizens have unrestricted access to work in the UK. They can prove their right to work in the UK by using their Irish passport or passport card, or another proof of identity.

Find out more about employing EU citizens on GOV.UK

What to include in a job offer letter

A job offer letter should include:

  • the job title
  • confirmation you've offered them the job
  • whether it's a 'conditional job offer' – if you have any conditions they must meet before being employed by you, for example suitable references or a health check
  • the terms – including salary, hours, benefits, pension arrangements, holiday entitlement and the location of work
  • start date and any probationary period
  • what they need to do to accept the offer or to decline it
  • the name of the person to contact, with their contact details, in case they have any questions

It's a good idea to ask the applicant to confirm in writing they've accepted the job.

Use our job offer templates

If you change your mind

You can withdraw the job offer if the applicant did not meet the offer's conditions. For example:

  • suitable references
  • criminal record checks

It's a good idea to tell them the reasons you're withdrawing the offer.

If you did not include any conditions as part of the job offer, it's known as an unconditional job offer. Withdrawing it could be against the law.

If you feel unsure about withdrawing an unconditional job offer, contact the Acas helpline.

Information you must give them when they start work

By law, you must give a written statement of employment particulars to anyone who's classed as an employee or a worker. The written statement must include certain terms and conditions about the job.

You must provide this on or before the person's first day of work.

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