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I've received a official offer from a company, but haven't yet seen a contract. One of the things I want to ask about is that there are some parts we've discussed via email that offer more clarification or are slightly different to this offer letter.

When receiving an offer, do I take all parts including the more specifics that have been agreed in email to be that which we're agreeing upon? Or is it only the contents of the offer letter? I have a feeling the contract will be fairly generic and not include the particulars that have been discussed via email either but can't confirm that yet. I guess the same question there, is it literally what's in the contract, or any other agreements that have been made prior? I did press gently but there seemed to be a reluctance to modifying anything that would appear directly on the contract.

Also, as it's related and I'd like to see the contract first. If the contract is only issued after acceptance of an official offer, at that point are things legally binding? Or if the contract is provided after acceptance of this letter, does this need to be agreed/signed etc before things are formalised?

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    Are you actually getting a legally binding employment contract or are you getting a standard offer letter? If a contract, then anything you've discussed as part of your accepting the job should be included in the contract. If what you're getting is an offer letter then it may not be legally binding. If it were me, and if I had any doubts, I'd consult an attorney. You can find legal services online that will answer your question and review the document for a pretty low fee. – joeqwerty May 3 at 19:45
  • @joeqwerty at this point, this is just an official offer letter. I'd assume a legally binding contract would follow. Thanks for the advice. – Bill May 4 at 7:46
  • @joeqwerty do you have any recommendations for online legal services? – Bill May 6 at 17:33
  • I use Rocket Lawyer. I'm in the USA. - rocketlawyer.com – joeqwerty May 6 at 20:21
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Or is it only the contents of the offer letter?

The contents of the offer letter are the only thing that matter.

The offer letter is what the company will refer to. If for some reason you have to drag them to court, then the offer letter will likely be seen as superseding any email negotiations (I'm not a lawyer). If the offer letter contradicts something you have agreed to - don't sign it.

At the very least, the offer letter should specify salary and PTO days. If you negotiated extra WFH days, or a modified workday, then it may not be specified. Generally WFH and modifying your workday are not part of the contract as the company wants to be able to revoke them if needs change, or your performance isn't what they want.

If something not in the contract is very important to you, you can try to print it out, add an addendum, and then sign it and send it back. Realize this may make the company revoke the offer.

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I'm based out of the US but if the UK is anything like the US then typically an offer letter is the closest thing you'll get to an actual contract. And the offer letter - especially if signed - is legally binding. Like violations of it could be pursued in the civil court system.

If the offer letter does have a section for you to sign then what you could do is print it out, scratch out the parts of it that have been amended in followup discussions and then add the corrections in pen. Sign the newly annotated offer letter and then turn that one in instead of the original.

Or maybe you could write, in pen, something like, with the attached amendments, and then staple them to the offer letter, keeping a copy for your own records.

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    The UK is not like the US. There are far more worker protections there. – nick012000 May 4 at 6:19
  • "if the UK is anything like the US" It is incredibly different. – Fattie May 4 at 16:46

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