I have moved jobs internally and was told by the manager who posted the job I would be paid £50k per annum and that is also what was advertised. Now after starting the job they have finally sent a offer letter for £5k less when I have already started on the agreement of the £50k.

I have said to them that they should have sent the offer letter and contract before so I had the opportunity to decline if they had planned to reduce the offer. They are also dealing with it verbally I'm assuming as they don't want a written trail trying to convince me to agree to the offer.

What do I do? I've moved my whole family to a more expensive area for this job and need the extra money.

  • 15
    What happens if you decline the offer?
    – sf02
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 11:26
  • 134
    This is sadly a good example of why starting the job before signing the offer is risky
    – Kepotx
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 11:26
  • 117
    Had friend who was treated like that on the Thursday, told the manager he would give an answer the following Tuesday.... Went in and handed in his notice - had found a different job... Manager was SO pissed as he now had 2 positions to fill and lost the skills and experience...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 11:30
  • 9
    @SolarMike Your friend did the best thing he could do in that situation. Lying managers like that deserve to lose their team/company.
    – Niko1978
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 12:44
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    All verbal? Everything? What about the internal posting and conversations leading to you moving locations and positions? Absolutely NOTHING is "written" down? And... exactly how big is this company? Do you have a boss+1? HR? Time to start a paper trail by emailing all parties with expectations on anything of import being documented.
    – WernerCD
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 19:40

7 Answers 7


You are saying that you have nothing written down and agreed before moving job and all of this was done verbally. Speak to your manager again explaining that the offer you have received is not what you understood it was and you only accepted on the basis of the £50k you agreed. If this has no impact then there might be the avenue of escalating this through HR

If the manager won't change the offer (or even if he does) then you have learnt something valuable about them and have to decide whether you can continue to work in this company.

The answer may have to be to look elsewhere and I am sorry to say you have learnt a valuable lesson. A verbal contract is worth the paper it is written on

Thinking on this further, it seems very unusual that a transfer in a company was done totally verbally. It is possible there is a documentary trail that you could use the GDPR to ask for all data relating to you and there may be something in there about the offer but this is a bit of a nuclear button option and risks damaging the relationship between you and your company totally

  • 11
    @AaronThompson It's probably not the answer you would want and I am really sympathetic, but there are a few red flags here such as lack of trail and no contract. Taking a job without a signed contract though was a mistake even on an internal transfer but hopefully if you raise that there is a mistake they will fix it. It could really be as simple as just telling them that there is a mistake and they have put the wrong value in your offer. Good luck!
    – Firedragon
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 11:54
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    Thanks for your insight Firedragon. I have told them already and they have come back saying that the job is different to the one offered. It's just the run around really. I will look for a new job hevidence need and ask ACAS for advice it. Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 11:58
  • 4
    @AaronThompson Without a contract or anything written down then I don't know if ACAS would even be able to help and there may be a cost in getting their help anyway. It sounds like you have been messed about by your company. Depending how long you have been in your role/job there may be probation issues where they can terminate your employment so I hate to say it but you may just have to get your head down and do the job until you get the offer then run and don't look back!
    – Firedragon
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 12:05
  • 1
    I am not saying the following statement is right, but taking formal action against the company you are currently employed by, might result in something worst then a salary dispute that can be solved by a single bonus. If you are truly unhappy take the appropriate action though.
    – Donald
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 12:22
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    @AaronThompson if you're pissed off about this then make a doctor's appointment and go and tell your doctor how stressed you are and how thinking about going to work makes you nervous and panic. Get signed off work and use the time to look for work and go to interviews. Show them that you, too, can "play silly buggers" (as my mother used to say)
    – Aaron F
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 9:06

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

You learned a valuable lesson here: Your manager/boss cannot be trusted. Unless you signed anything already (contract, offer letter, etc.), if I was in your shoes, I would stop working immediately for this liar and would look for a job elsewhere. Of course, always follow the proper procedure, e.g. resign and give notice if required.

Also, next time don't start working until you have everything you agreed on in writing. And don't make major life changes until you have the cash in hand (like moving the family to a new city/country).

  • 6
    "And don't make major life changes until you have the cash in hand" That's--at least in my experience--quite impossible. Certainly you should avoid making major life changes until you have a signed contract in hand, but not many companies will offer to start paying you before you actually move to the location where they want you to work. Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 17:05

If they made the offer verbally and you accepted and begun working they are required to honour that contract. They have to pay you the amount you verbally agreed before you started, an employment contract does not have to be written down.


You can refuse this new contract as it is a change to the agreed terms. The problem is that this is likely to enrage your employer so tread carefully.

  • 1
    That's okay in theory, however, how could you prove? It comes down again to 2 parties disagreeing and without another party to confirm it woud be really difficult to prove. The verbal agreement made should have been followed up by written proof and in this case it is lacking.
    – Firedragon
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 13:53
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    He says that the manager told him the salary and that that matched the salary advertised. He can use that as a reference point.
    – Stefan
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 14:00
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    @Aaron Thompson I would take this issue to ACAS for advice as you have rules that protect you as an employee. If an employer has pulled a 'bait and switch' tatic on you have a right to defend yourself so they comply to what was agreed and advertised. Don't put up with it. If your manager becomes angry and they make you working life unbearable you could sue them for 'constructive dismissal'.
    – fypnlp
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 14:16

What to do? Talk to them and try to get the money they promised. Don't expect it and look for another job.

Next time, get things in writing.

  • 6
    Also keep in mind that explaining your troubles is counterproductive, you essentially just undermine your negotiating position. On top of this, hiring a new employee often costs at least 5k, and that is excluding the productivity loss, so unless the manager wants to shrink his team your position may be better than you think. Definitely consider taking a firm stance, likely you don't have much to lose, Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 12:54
  • Maybe, or it could be the mo for the company as they think it will save them money in the long term. If they don't instantly apologize, it may well be usual practice. I would speak to other employees about it if you are planning on leaving.
    – David
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 13:16

Along the lines of Niko1978's answer, but less aggressive.

It appears you're trying to work yourself up through life and were handed what looked like a solid opportunity of advancement. It is entirely understandable that you trusted a verbal agreement with your current employer that didn't quite take shape. It really is 'shame on them!'

Moving forward, commit this to memory. 'Fool me twice, shame on me!' Promise yourself that you won't commit to an offer until it's in writing. And always make a copy for yourself because you'll never know when you'll need to refer back to it.

Secondly, you got burned. Approach your manger in a calm manner and remain nothing but professional. It sucks, but in hindsight going off, storming out, and ultimately quitting only burns bridges. That forces the time and effort in recreating those potentially solid references somewhere else. Present what you were offered and calmly ask if they are willing to fix their end of the agreement.

Finally, regardless of outcome bar some honest HR mistake, find new employment. I've been in your exact same shoes. If you're not in a position to put in your 2 weeks this exact second, do it passively until you find a new job. You should not need to put up with this. A dishonest company or a dishonest actor within a company will eventually make your life hell. If this is the case, then it's time to move on.

  • What does "...of outcome bar some honest HR mistake..." mean? I'm not clear on the bar there. While understanding your intended meaning, I'm not familiar with this specific use of bar. Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 9:38
  • @KonradViltersten entry #3. It's synonymous with except, but felt better to use in this context.
    – Travis
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 17:02
  • Now I'm lost. Third entry is about the law and barriers. What am I missing? Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 20:11
  • bar preposition Definition of bar (Entry 3 of 9) : EXCEPT the country's most popular actor, bar none
    – Travis
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 21:08
  • Ah, there it is. I confused item #3 with entry #3. Thanks! Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 13:58

Your employer offered you a certain sum of money, then once you had started, they changed the number, so now you have a problem.

Go to them and explain nicely that you had understood that you would be paid 50k and that your most recent pay cheque was only counting up to 45k/year. Remember, it's just a number. There's no need for confrontation or emotion.

Typically at this stage, the employer would apologize and offer to change the number.

If they do not, say that you would like to hand in your notice.


It's very likely that your trust in them is forever gone, meaning you have no satisfying future at this company, even if they end up honoring the verbal contract - the contract which is valid, relevant, and can be proven to exist because you already started the job. Do not yet sign the offer, so the only contract in play is the verbal one that states 50k.

Instead of wasting time trying to convince them to be honest, contact a local employment lawyer to see what kind of damages you can recover, and look for a new job.

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