I had a job offer in writing via email after working at the school for 5 months through an agency. School offered to take me in and send an email about the position, the working hours, holidays and salary. I accepted the offer, then when I got the contract, the salary was lower than the offer. The HR whom sent me the offer said there was an error on typing the salary on the offer letter. I haven't signed the contract yet and don't know what to do.

I asked the HR but she said it was a typing error, which I doubt, and she said that I'm not going to get the salary as per offer but the one in contract, which is away lower than the offer.

Should they stick at the offer salary instead??

  • 1
    most definitely ask them to correct the contract before signing it. If it was a mistake, they can correct it and send you a new one.
    – Esther
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:14
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    Never sign a contract with errors in it. Get it corrected first, otherwise you have no leverage.
    – PeteCon
    Apr 13, 2022 at 18:12
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    @PeteCon the contract is correct, the error was, very conveniently, on the offer letter. Apr 13, 2022 at 19:35

7 Answers 7


At this point there are two possibilities:

  • It was a legitimate error
  • This is a bait-and-switch

Either way, the job offer needs to be reevaluated based on the new information you have. The type of things you should think about are:

  • Are you willing to work for the lower salary?
  • Are you okay with working for a place that has a HR system that makes these kinds of mistakes?
  • Do you still trust this school and the leadership/management you would be working with?
  • Is this still the best decision for you?

If you can honestly answer yes to all those questions, then go for it. Otherwise you can try to negotiate/fight for the listed salary in the job offer or walk away.

  • 2
    People make mistakes. If this was an honest mistake, and they correct it and send the OP a new contract, then I really don't see the issue. If they start hemming and hawing and convincing the OP to sign anyways, that is definitely something to think about, maybe a red flag.
    – Esther
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:46
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    The OP. in an "answer" below, says that the salary in the contract letter is significantly less than the salary in the offer letter. I personally find it amusing to notice that "mistakes" like this somehow always tend to favor the company. I have NEVER heard of a case where the salary listed in the contract was HIGHER than the salary in the offer letter. Apr 13, 2022 at 22:25

I accepted the offer, then when I got the contract, the salary was lower than the offer. The HR whom sent me the offer said there was an error on typing the salary on the offer letter. I haven't signed the contract yet and don't know what to do.

Assuming you actually require the salary amount contained in the offer letter...

Pretty simple:

  • Don't sign the contract with the lower salary in it.
  • Tell HR that you relied on the offer letter's salary information and that is what you require.
  • Ask HR to send you a corrected version of the contract and tell them you will then sign it and return it quickly.
  • If they won't make the change, thank them for their interest but tell them you decline their revised offer

Never sign any contract that doesn't say what you want/need it to say.

If on the other hand, you are willing to accept less, re-open the negotiations. Ask for more than their new offer and see where it goes. Then decide accordingly.


I haven't signed the contract yet and don't know what to do.

HR has already told you that the salary on the offer letter was a typing error.

If you believe that they are lying then politely decline their offer and move on to your next opportunity.

If you believe that they are truthful then you need to evaluate the salary on the contract and decide if it is sufficient for you personally. If it is then you sign the contract, if not you politely decline and move on to the next opportunity.


You should definitely not sign the offer letter if you were expecting a different offer. The offer letter is what they are offering, no matter what was said to you previously. However:

Don't assume malevolence where a mistake is a valid explanation.

Return the contract with a simple statement that the salary in the contract is wrong. Remind them of the salary you were offered. Don't accuse anyone of anything or make any statement about how you would respond to an offer of that salary.

The advantage of this is that if the change is a genuine mistake, you maintain good relationships with the company. If it isn't then you will get at least some explanation of why there was a change, and you still come off as a reasonable person, and you haven't lost anything. (Doing this is also an indication to them that you don't like the new salary and won't take crap, without actually having to say so.)

If they come back and say that the conditions have changed, or that the original offer was a mistake, or the job is different, or something similar, then you can make your decision about whether you want the job at the new salary and whether you trust the company. I personally wouldn't trust them. A trustworthy company, when doing something like this, starts by saying "I'm sorry but the responsibilities of this job has changed" or "the salary we offered you was a mistake", or something like that. They don't just make changes and hope you don't notice.


Ask them to fix the letter so that you can sign the contract. Do not sign it with incorrect information!

In terms of asking, you should call rather than email. You want to get this cleared up quickly, so you and they can move forward.

Mistakes happen, and the best way to deal with them is to speak up and deal with them matter-of-factly.


The answer comes down to how much you need this job. If you are desperate to be employed ASAP, and don't think you'll get an offer somewhere else quickly enough, then you probably have no other choice than to accept working at the lower rate.

On the other hand, if you don't need this job urgently, because you have some money saved, or parents that can help our for a bit, or have (or can get) another offer pretty quickly, then you can just tell them you refuse to work for less than the amount that was in the offer letter, and put the ball in their court: maybe they'll respect the amount in the offer letter, or maybe they rescind the offer.

(Question - Was the offer letter the first time salary was discussed during the hiring process? That seems very unusual - normally the salary is negotiated before receiving an offer letter. If the salary was agreed to beforehand, did it match the amount in the offer letter, or in the contract? My answer is assuming that either the letter was the first time salary was discussed, or that the amount in the letter matched some previously agreed to value. If, on the other hand, you guys agreed to X, the letter was for Y > X, and then the contract corrected that to X, my answer isn't really relevant - in this case I'd imagine they'd rescind the offer if you attempted to hold them to an obvious mistake ).


They sent you an offer letter. You agreed to the information on the letter.

If the contract had added a key provision not mentioned in the offer letter, such as working hours, and you disagree with that provision you can try and negotiate or inform them that you no longer want to move forward with the offer. But if you sign the contract then you can move forward.

They did something bigger. They changed the compensation level. They have essentially rejected your signed offer and reopened negations. It might or might not have been a mistake. But either way you can treat this as an entirely new offer.

Immediately resume your job search, because you have to start the negotiation with this employer. Don't turn in notice to your current employer, because you no longer have a guaranteed job.

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