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Today I got a phone call from HR of my new (future) workplace. I have already got my appointment letter from that company. It stated that my joining date as 1st of coming month. But today they called me and said my joining date has extended by a month.

Their reason was there are bunch of new comers joining and the training program has scheduled according to that.

But my problem is now, I have already given my resignation to the current workplace. Therefore now I don't have money to cover up my monthly expenses. Should I call them back and mention this and ask to join on the date what they mentioned in my appointment letter?

Also, if they don't have any other options other than joining to them on after the extended period, should I wanna ask for an updated appointment letter?

Will it be wise to ask at least half of the salary for that month? - as it was their fault

Update: I'm living in Sri Lanka. My new workplace HR knows that I had 6 weeks notice period and according to that only I planned my joining date. But now they told it has extended by a month.

  • 28
    That is really low of them. You have to try and convince them to let you start on time. Other than that, can you stay with your current company for a couple of weeks? – AndreiROM Nov 19 '15 at 14:58
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    Shouldn't it be common practice to not give in any resignation before a contract with the new employer is signed? Or does this significantly differ between countries? – Val Nov 19 '15 at 15:42
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    @vsz I have already signed with my future employer. I stated it in my question :) – Jude Niroshan Nov 19 '15 at 15:44
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    @CrazyNinja : where did you state it? Is a letter you receive from the company the same as an employment contract in Sri Lanka? – Val Nov 19 '15 at 15:47
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    @CrazyNinja: yes. I received my appointment letter which mentioned my joining date. HR manager had signed it off. So where is the problem? You have a contract with a joining date so you join at that date. If they want you to come a month later (still being payed of course) then good for you. If they want to renegotiate your contract then it is not a unilateral decision.It may certainly be different in Sri Lanka but i fail to understand the true problem. – WoJ Nov 20 '15 at 8:43
92

Push back on this and hope that the HR manager or hiring manager is a decent human being. It's unreasonable for them to unilaterally push your start date this late in the process. They should respect your original start date and if that means you're not as productive until you've been trained then that's simply a cost of doing business that they should pay.

Email them with something like the following:

Dear [HR manager],

I understand that the training program has been pushed back but I'm afraid that it's difficult for me to push my start date as I have already given notice at my current employer, since I was expecting to start on [the Xth]. While I realise that it's not ideal to delay the training program, I was hoping that we could honor the original start date we determined [/ that I established with hiring manager Y] when I accepted the offer. While I would love to take a month off, that isn't an option for my current financial situation.

Leave off the final sentence if it makes you uncomfortable or reword it as you'd like. Start with this and hope that you'll get back a positive reply.

If you discussed your start date with the hiring manager instead and/or if you had a good rapport with him, you can also email or call him directly instead. Explain the situation and ask him if they can honor your original start date. A follow-up conversation by phone would be ideal to determine how your first month should look if the training is that important.

Caveat: It's highly unlikely that an employer would pull the offer over this but it can happen with unreasonable companies.

  • 4
    Apart from that, I want to point out that we generally encourage you not to accept an answer too quickly. You may want to give other people a chance to submit an answer as well and accepting early tends to discourage other people from replying. You are free to change or remove the mark-as-answered tick at any time and you may want to do so and wait one or two days before evaluating the answers you received and accepting the one that you found the most helpful. – Lilienthal Nov 19 '15 at 15:30
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    @SnakeDoc Could be, it certainly doesn't make sense to plan a training in December of all months, though maybe Sri Lanka doesn't have the same end-of-year holidays. Regardless, that should have been communicated well in advance. Considering the notice period is 6 weeks this is even worse as the company should know the OP already resigned a month ago. If they don't want to start the hire process, the right thing to do is give him a signing bonus of a month's salary to bridge the financial gap. (@ OP: that's the next thing to ask for if they say they can't start you on the original date.) – Lilienthal Nov 19 '15 at 20:26
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    I'd include the OP's new line manager in this, too. HR may not be a decent human being, but OP's line manager won't want him/her turning up in January penniless, stressed out and wearing old clothes because of this messup by HR. – Level River St Nov 19 '15 at 22:11
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    Maybe rewrite the "I was hoping" part. It's best to phrase this as if they were asking you a favor, and you have to politely decline. Since it's ambiguous whose asking and whose telling here, that tends to get established by these choices of phrasing. You could also include some suggestions for how you will make yourself useful in the weeks before your training. – Peter Nov 21 '15 at 12:25
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    @Lilienthal Thanks a lot !!! It worked! They replied me to come on the original date. I don't know how to thank you for your nice answer. – Jude Niroshan Nov 23 '15 at 6:33
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Depending on the laws where you live, it would be possible to get unemployment for that month, you have a signed offer letter (letter of appointment) and at least in the US, that's good enough to apply for unemployment.

In terms of getting an updated letter - I'm not sure why you would bother... perhaps if it helps in getting unemployment in the interim then it's worth it. But this is locale dependent as well.

I do think you're well within your rights to argue back. Calling the hiring manager, and trying to negotiate with HR are both useful. You may even want to get their legal department involved, since they are causing you financial harm by changing the terms of the agreement.

In some positions, it may be absolutely required that you get training before you work in the company... but if that's really true, then they should be willing to pay you NOT to work if they can't arrange the logistics properly.

  • 4
    Claiming unemployment on the basis of a signed written contract stating that you are employed and the oral report of a phone call stating otherwise? – Hagen von Eitzen Nov 19 '15 at 21:31
  • IIRC in the US you are not eligible if you have a job offer accepted already. This is a weird situation though. – user42272 Nov 19 '15 at 23:16
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    Claiming unemployment may also be difficult if you voluntarily resigned from your previous job. – Simon B Nov 19 '15 at 23:43
  • From www.nolo.com: "If an employee leaves a job for other employment, most states don't consider that a disqualification for unemployment. Generally, however, the other employment must be fairly certain: An employee who quits to look for another job typically won't be covered. If you're wondering why an employee who has a new job is collecting unemployment, it's almost always because the new job didn't pan out as expected. For example, an employee might quit to take a better job, based on a firm offer, only to find that the new job never materializes." – bethlakshmi Nov 20 '15 at 20:52
6

Did you explain to them the financial situation this would leave you in? I don't think it's unreasonable to say this when you've acted in good faith.

If you have a contact other than HR in the company (hiring manager) you might want to try and reach out to them.I doubt HR would be able to change this decision and you're just relying on them to fight your case.

Personally I think it's a bit of a bad sign for the future that your new employer would put you in this position. However in case they didn't realise you're working a notice period and there is any movement you should follow this up.

Is there any chance you could ask to extend your notice period with your current company? You might want to investigate legal recourse against the new company but this should really be a last resort. A quick search shows that in many countries an offer letter is not a legal contract so it may not be a straight forward fight.

2

One offer you could make to the company is that you will start on that date, and effectively spend the first month getting the admin sorted out and getting used to your team. This would also give you an advantage in the training course, as you'd have some basic knowledge of the company; which you could then use to support your fellow new starters.

I would not ask for half-salary, I'd explain the situation, offer to start on that date, and ask for full-pay, but make it clear that you're willing to discuss other options/negotiate.

Fundamentally, the company would not accept you starting a month late and paying you for that month anyway, and you shouldn't be expected to accept what they wouldn't.

Frankly, if they push back at all, I would start looking for another job immediately. The kind of company that will do this to you, either through malice or incompetence, is not one that it is safe to build a career around.

-5

That is a tricky problem.

Tell them that learning on the job is fine with you and that you have an agreed on start date and that you NEED to start on that date for financial reasons.

  • 8
    saying "NEED" at them doesn't solve anything. – user42272 Nov 19 '15 at 23:15

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