I am on unemployment, and in the UK, which means I cannot turn down an offer of employment without sufficient cause or my benefits will stop.
I had a job offer made last week via a recruitment agency. I was told, with great enthusiasm, that their client wanted me to start asap. Although my enthusiasm for the role was more lukewarm, I accepted. I was due to start on Monday 5th.
It did not happen and its a strong possibility their second start date, Monday 12th, is going to pass without me starting.
They have now decided they want paperwork from me for background checks that does not and never existed. It requires the unemployment agency to send me a custom letter which will not arrive until end of next week. I have been unable to find an alternative they will accept.
I have continued my job search while all this has been pending and now hearing about interviews next week. I've accepted but feel uncomfortable because if I then withdraw (due to starting), I'm burning my bridges with several companies over a lukewarm job offer.
So, here's the first part of my question. When would be appropriate to withdraw from this offer?
The second part relates to how I would withdraw.
I have no proof but believe it is the company not the agency which is causing the issue. The agency also manages recruitment for other clients doing similar work to the job offer.
If I am to withdraw then if at all possible, I'd want to be able to then be considered by them for other roles that they have to offer.
Is there even a way to achieve that?
Update - The lukewarm job offer has turned around and said I can start on Monday after all leaving me with a very tough decision to make and only a couple of hours to do so. I've never disliked the idea of a job so much before I started it but I wonder how much of this is down to new job anxiety.