Hi I was offered a 1 year maternity leave position and I signed the offer letter. The letter is called "Term Agreement Letter" and it states the start and and end dates. However they said that the offer is conditional based on a successfully completed background check by the starting date. I signed all the forms to release the info for my background check and now I am waiting. However I have received phone calls from other companies for interviews, and a couple of them are permanent full time and I like them. What if I receive an offer and still I am waiting for my background check with the other company? Can I withdraw my acceptance after I signed the Offer Letter?

  • Did you apply for both permanent full time and temporary positions?
    – sf02
    Nov 25, 2020 at 20:59
  • no. I applied first for the temp position. But today 2 agents called me with new permanent positions that they want me to apply.
    – Teodora
    Nov 25, 2020 at 21:01
  • However, in my job search I applied for many permanent positions until this one temporary position interviewd me and offered me the job
    – Teodora
    Nov 25, 2020 at 21:02
  • @JoeStrazzere doing the job while someone else is on a one-year maternity leave (common in Canada) and then leaving when they come back to their old job after their leave. Nov 26, 2020 at 3:00
  • Maternity leave
    – Teodora
    Nov 26, 2020 at 3:06

3 Answers 3


100% continue to interview for the positions you want and continue with onboarding with this company. This never stops being true.

A company would not hesitate to replace you with someone who was "perfect" or if you weren't what they wanted. Maybe this turns in to a full time role, but as it stands, it's just a mat leave stand in. In the end, outside of legal obligations that you might have (and that requires legal advice), you owe a company nothing.

Now, that being said, it doesn't mean there won't be hurt feelings. The situation is the same as when a boss who likes you is telling you that you're getting laid off. It's nothing personal, it's "just business".

  • 1
    thank you so much for your advice. It is very useful.
    – Teodora
    Nov 26, 2020 at 3:04
  • Very well said. I tell young people entering the job market that a company will do what is in their best interest and a worker should do what is in theirs. If a company thinks it is better for them to terminate your employment, they will without hesitation so don't hold false loyalty to a company. Work is about earning a living with the best benefits you can muster so if you find that somewhere else, take it and move on.
    – rhoonah
    Jul 18, 2023 at 15:08

Can I withdraw my acceptance after I signed the Offer Letter?


There may be consequences of doing so. For example people in the company you've signed offer letter with are very unlikely to consider you for hiring in the future (including in future companies where they may be employed). In some extreme circumstances it could end in litigation, though that's mostly an academic possibility unless you've accepted some sort of a sign-on bonus.

Though I have to say that unless the agents came over with firm offers in hand I would not go burning a sure thing just yet, as you may wind up with no job and a recently burned bridge so make sure that you have everything aligned with another company first (or that you can take the possible unemployment).

If you decide to withdraw the letter, there are some mitigation strategies.

If stuck in the limbo of waiting for another offer you can stall the background check as this usually will require for you to fork over some documents which may take you some time to locate. While I personally would not choose this method as it's pretty sleazy, it is an option for sure.

Alternatively, and my perferred option, is to be honest with the company and tell them that you want some extra time to consider the offer. Do not give them a specific reason like "i got a better interview lined up" (even though it's obvious) as that will not help you, and then they can either say no - in which case you are where you wanted to be, or they can agree in which case you just bought more time to get a better offer somewhere else.

Imo either way you are better of than just outright going back on the offer.

  • I am in Canada. And Canadian citizen
    – Teodora
    Nov 25, 2020 at 21:12
  • thank you for your reply
    – Teodora
    Nov 25, 2020 at 21:12
  • I think you mean "I would not go burning a sure thing" ?
    – cdkMoose
    Nov 25, 2020 at 21:13
  • @cdkMoose indeed! Good catch, thanks!
    – Aida Paul
    Nov 25, 2020 at 21:14
  • @Teodora I added an extra paragraph you may want to read.
    – Aida Paul
    Nov 25, 2020 at 21:14

The situation is extremely simple,

They have offered you nothing.

This is another case of incredible abuse of employees, in this case not even yet employees.

The answer to your question is that there is no question - they have offered you nothing.

A "Term Agreement Letter" has no connection whatsoever to an offer.

You can and should take other jobs and not even alert them to the fact that you've taken a different job. Note that if they decide to hire someone else, they probably wouldn't even do you the courtesy of dropping you an email that they hired someone else.

The notion that there would be "bad feelings" from the people at this company is risible. At the very most, if anyone even noticed, some HR person there would think to themselves "Wow, one of the fools we handed out a snicker 'Term Agreement' to, realized it was BS."

  • oh, my God. And I was so happy when they offered me the job. I even stopped looking for jobs, waiting for that stupid background check, but then I started to think why should I wait for 3 weeks not to look for other jobs? What if they do something meantime. Until I receive a call from an agent with an open opportunity and he booked me an interview. Thank you for your reply.
    – Teodora
    Nov 26, 2020 at 15:19

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