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My situation, Location South Africa with regards to Labour Law

I got a job offer through a recruitment agency which I subsequently signed, when handing in resignation to my current position (Hosted IT Services), my client I support said they would not lose me and gave me a counter offer to work for them directly which I could not refuse with increase in package (with this case my current employer has no problem with me working direct for the client with regards to restraint), I have notified the recruiter that I am declining the signed job offer 15 days in advance and they have subsequently advised me that they will be taking legal action due to loss of income,

Is this something I need to be worried about? Can they do anything?

The way I see it I could of just stayed with their position and resigned on the 1st day if need be and give a weeks notice, however I don't want to do that as I am already working for my client directly.

To add, I don't remember signing any contract with the recruiter with regards that I will be liable for any payment due to their loss of income due to me not accepting their proposed/signed position.

closed as off-topic by Adam V, Alec, HLGEM, gnat, Thomas Owens Aug 11 '15 at 15:03

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here." – Adam V, Alec, HLGEM, gnat, Thomas Owens
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    Unfortunately, we probably can't answer as we don't deal with legal issues on this site. – Adam V Aug 11 '15 at 14:36
  • As Adam says, at its core this is a legal question so not on-topic for this site. You need to take a copy of the contract you signed to a local labour and employment lawyer if you want to be sure that you're not at risk of legal action. – Lilienthal Aug 11 '15 at 14:46
  • You always need to be worried if someone is taking legal action against you. Even if they don't have a case, if you don't defend against it properly you give them a fair chance to succeed regardless. – Peter Apr 16 '16 at 11:44
  • Let them try to sue. They won't. It's too expensive and not worth it. You could just formally resign from the new position. Technically, this could be done before starting the role, ideally with sufficient notice (eg 2 weeks) that you resign on or before the start date. – Bohemian Mar 22 '17 at 12:08
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Assuming you have a copy of your agreement you should consult a local employment lawyer. In many jurisdictions a signed unconditional offer is a legal document offering protection to both the employee and employer. I think only a professional would be able to answer A) If they have a case against you B) What potential sanction you could face.

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