59

Recently I cleared an interview and I accepted the job offer letter during this I discuss about salary points verbally with Head of HR. When I received offer letter by email, I read the whole letter and at the end they mentioned that the salary annexure and appointment letter will be issued when I'm joining.

I discussed my salary verbally with the head of HR and when I requested to update the offer letter and mentioned my expected salary point, they refused (they said due to their policy being to not disclose this) and said I will get the appointment letter including salary upon joining.

So is this offer letter legally correct or not?

  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Mister Positive Nov 29 '19 at 19:18
  • Just FYI, legal questions are usually considered off topic here and often end up getting closed. However, the nature of this situation has led to some good answers. Nonetheless, if you really want an answer to "is this ... legally correct...?" you will need to consult an attorney who is familiar with the relevant laws in your location. (FWIW, and with the IANAL caveat, I doubt it would be legal in the US.) – GreenMatt Dec 5 '19 at 15:45
  • You haven't said whether you are currently employed. If so, stay where you are! If not, you might as well go into work and see what happens on the first day. I predict your salary will fall. – TonyK Dec 6 '19 at 0:44
  • Yes, Currently I am employed and got an opportunity – Gourav Joshi Dec 6 '19 at 5:49
141

[....] the salary annexure and appointment letter will be issued on your joining.

So, basically you're expected to accept an offer and join the work without having any written proof of appointment and confirmed agreement on your payout?

Anything which is not a part of written agreement from proper authority, is not part of any agreement, at all.

If I were you, the answer to the offer is no, on any given day. Seems pretty close to be a scam.

As I discussed for salary verbally with HR Head and after when I request to update offer letter and mentioned salary point, but they refuse and said you will get appointment letter including all mentions on joining.

Companies provide the details about the remuneration, benefits and other information as part of the offer letter / appointment letter well before the joining, so that the candidate can review and accept (or reject and ask for negotiation) the conditions before they join.

The fact that they are not willing to put their side of cards on the table to help you decide is a huge red flag. Run the other way, fast.

  • 6
    I agree, they should be able to advise the offer letter with that salary without an issue. Remember nothing is confirmed if its not in writing! – Bee Nov 27 '19 at 13:43
  • 32
    Correct. "Sorry, but I cannot accept an offer that does not include these details. Please forward a version of the offer letter that includes the details we discussed on <date>." When they give their excuse, you say it again. When they give their excuse again, you say just the first sentence again, then ignore subsequent contact. – Lightness Races with Monica Nov 28 '19 at 18:03
  • Basically: ask them to either send a revision that includes your salary, or a revision that omits any promise that you'll work for them. ;) – yshavit Nov 30 '19 at 16:02
57

So is this offer letter legally correct or not?

It doesn't matter. You should walk away even if it is legal.

It's already a big red flag in terms of professionalism to not by default include salary in an offer letter. But to outright refuse when pressed? You're 100% in not-legitimate territory here. There's simply no reason why this would be their policy if it were. You probably realise this.

Besides, even if it were somehow legitimate and just merely unprofessional, think about how disrespectful this is to you. They expect you to take on all the risk and disruption that changing jobs entails and yet refuse to even write down your agreed salary in the offer letter.

Honestly, it doesn't sound like the best company to work for, does it?

  • 1
    If this is the only issue then it would be a shame to decline the job over it. OP should just ask for clarification about the salary. Maybe they simply forgot to include a page. – Michael Nov 28 '19 at 19:12
  • 17
    @Michael OP asked the company to include the salary in the offer letter and they point-blank refused. it isn't a matter of simply forgetting. – GreySage Nov 28 '19 at 20:03
  • 9
    @Michael Companies treat you the nicest when they're trying to hire you. If they're treating someone this shitty now, it's a huge red flag that they're only going to get treated worse after they're hired. – Wipqozn Nov 29 '19 at 13:03
  • @Michael It may be the only known issue, but it's a pretty darn big issue. The salary and benefits have impacts that the OP has to plan for, either the company doesn't realize this and is staffed by utterly incompetent HR, or they do and have HR that are highly competent at screwing employees for the company's benefit. – IllusiveBrian Nov 29 '19 at 16:19
27

A job-offer letter is just a contract where you say "I promise to work for you" and the other parties say "in return I promise the following things..."

That is all it is. You could have a job offer that says "I promise to come and drink your coffee once a week" and "In return we promise to loudly yell insults"

This job offer would be both legal and correct: neither action is illegal and both parties are capable of what they offer.

So what you are asking is: Is this offer letter sane

And that is something only you can judge. But remember: if it is not in writing it is not worth the paper it isn't written on.
- Do you agree with the things you promise to do for them?
- do you agree with the things you get in return?

In your case: are you sure it is a job offer? Or just formal invitation for negotiations? Because the latter is...weird to say the least. It sounds like they want some leverage to be able to pressure you into accepting things you would not do otherwise "because you signed here on the dotted line, you promised". Some people have trouble saying no to such things or are just desperate, they might be looking for those.

  • 10
    Off topic, but the joke is "if its not in writing, it's not worth the paper it's written on". You don't need to explain it by saying "isn't written on". That's why the joke works in the first place! It's the bait and switch of thinking "wait a minute, it's not actually written in anyth...ohhhh..". That's your joke theory of the day. – pplat Nov 28 '19 at 8:03
  • 8
    @pplat Ah yes but this is a meta-subversion. You expected "is written on" as that is indeed the standard joke but I hyper-corrected to "isn't written on" hopefully providing a mildly humerous effect. – Borgh Nov 28 '19 at 9:24
  • 5
    Actually, "in return we promise to loudly yell insults" is very unlikely to be a valid contract. In most common law jurisdictions a contract has to involve "consideration" (something of value) on both sides, and "yelling insults" probably isn't consideration. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 28 '19 at 9:34
  • 3
    @MartinBonnersupportsMonica Maybe they are really creative insults which are then used in the next big sitcom/standup program/whatever. – Graipher Nov 28 '19 at 19:25
  • 2
    @Graipher I'd insist on including some precise version "really creative" in that contract before I'd sign it, just as I'd insist on a specific salary rather than just "we'll pay you some money." – Andreas Blass Nov 29 '19 at 4:43
18

Simply point out that you cannot consider leaving your existing position until you have the received and reviewed the full details of what they are offering, including any terms or agreements they expect you to sign.

  • 3
    I suggest editing to say "full details in writing" to emphasize the necessity of putting all the important points in writing before the OP will make a final decision. – Patricia Shanahan Nov 28 '19 at 16:23
13

In the future, do not accept an offer until you've seen the written contract (and possibly the employee manual if the contract refers to it in any way).

In the meantime, proceed as if you don't have a contract yet, because you don't.

Keep on interviewing with other places. Do not stop. Do not slow down.

If currently employed, do not quit until you have a serious offer in hand.

If you're unemployed now and still unemployed when that day comes around, go to your first day and see what happens.

9

Agree, looks super fishy.

If you have a choice, leave this company in your tracks and don't look back.

On the other hand, if you have nothing to lose and have NO other options, go to your first day and see if they going to scam you and for how much.

Don't sign anything binding and be prepared to walk away.

P.S. Please keep us posted.

  • 1
    +1 for giving the benefit of the doubt instead of just saying 'run away'. Losing a day is better than losing a job. Some companies aren't large and don't have proper HR. They may just give him the offer as agreed as soon as he walks in. – Aequitas Nov 28 '19 at 3:50
  • 2
    @Aequitas: they obviously don't have a proper HR, but they do have a head of HR. That means the company is large enough to have multiple HR people. If you have a dedicated HR staff, you may reasonably assume they know the basic concepts of HR. This is either incompetence or malice, and both are reasons to turn down the job. – MSalters Nov 28 '19 at 8:49
  • 2
    Even if they didn't have HR, the fact that they refuse to provide the salary in writing before he joins puts him at a major risk and disadvantage. Not to mention it's just very disrespectful. – Blub Nov 28 '19 at 13:47
  • "... they do have a head of HR. That means the company is large enough to have multiple HR people." Not necessarily. Plenty of small organizations give titles that sound/read as if the organization is bigger than it is. This can both make the organization appear larger than it is and entice people to work for them because of the job title. – GreenMatt Dec 5 '19 at 15:34
4

Simply put your agreed salary in writing to them. Say that you will join then subject to them paying a salary of xxxxxx. That way you are covered. Basic terms would usually be sent in an offer letter but there's nothing to stop you saying your accepting the offer based on certain conditions, it is a two way process and they don't get to call the shots.

  • 1
    I have done on the past and it works legally here, though they can just ignore the email. But I would not want to work with those guys. – Rui F Ribeiro Nov 28 '19 at 17:12
  • 3
    Don't know why this is downvoted, I've often had success altering a contract and sending it back as a negotiating tactic. Usually they try and save face by saying "Whoops we forgot to put that in" and accepting my terms – Fred Stark Nov 29 '19 at 3:42
  • 1
    So you write "I'll join under conditions XY", resign from your current job. When you arrive at the first day the contract does not contain XY - now what? – piet.t Nov 29 '19 at 7:14
  • This is actually a good way of binding the salary with their offer email. This way, the employer acknowledges the salary automatically with your "yes" – th3pirat3 Nov 29 '19 at 9:10
  • @piet.t You wait until they send you a signed updated contract of course. – Blub Dec 5 '19 at 15:47
4

they said due to their policy being to not disclose this

They genuinely said that their policy is not to tell a candidate how much they will be paid?! A reasonable answer to that is "I can't tell you how many days a week I'll work for you if you can't tell me how much you're paying".

It does not have to be all in the same letter - they can write the information however they like. They can even email it if they want. It's also very normal the person who interviews you to not be the person who sets the salary, so they need to get someone else (usually someone from HR) to tell you that. But you must have full details of your precise salary (the exact amount to the penny) and other benefits, in writing, from a member of their company who's authorised to give you that information.

I have started a contract before where I hadn't signed a contract in writing with rates and so on. I'd agreed the precise rate on the phone, around the Wednesday/Thursday before, and received an email with the general details including the rate. There wouldn't have been time to post this. I started the next Monday, and we signed contracts that morning. But: (a) this was for a contract and not a permanent role; (b) there wasn't enough time to get paperwork exchanged in the post; and (c) I had those details via email. It doesn't sound like your situation fits any of those.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.