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What to do when you have a long standing commitment for 2 weeks starting the day the new job you've just been offered begins?

(19 Posts)
objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 12:53:10

They didn't ask me at interview whether I had any booked holiday, as one would normally be asked so I said nothing.

I knew post start was Sept but not specific date and I have a 2 week commitment early Sept.

My formal written job offer now states that my induction begins 8th Sept(on phone they said that is when my line manager is back from HER holiday) but I will be flying out of the country that day!

What can I do? Would they have to accept that I cannot be there or would I stand to lose the job if I honoured my other commitment?

LIZS Sun 03-Aug-08 13:02:14

Don't think they can retract the offer as such, and chances are they wouldn't try if it would mean readvertising and a delay, but perhaps you ought to have mentioned it at interview, whether they asked or not.

WideWebWitch Sun 03-Aug-08 13:09:37

Tell them you have a holiday booked and therefore you need to defer the start date to xxx. They'd be MAD if they didn't accept it, no company wants to lose someone who's right for the job for the sake of 2 weeks. And presumably when you booked you didn't know whether you'd get the job. Totally reasonable to go back to them now and say you can#t start until xxx.

busymum1 Sun 03-Aug-08 13:10:20

speak to them that's all you can do

zippitippitoes Sun 03-Aug-08 13:10:48

i think you shopuld have mentioned it yourself as if you are gpoing away on the 9 sept for two weeks that does rather get in the way of starting any job in spetember

but now you have to tell them and see what they say

its not very like;ly they will withdraw the offer but they might be a bit pissed off which is sad for you starting the job

hope it resolves ok and well done for getting the job

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 13:15:00

Oh balls.

I thought I would have been presumptious to mention it if not asked.

I really don't want to look like a piss taker because it wasn't my intention.

I'd be badly letting people down if I cancelled other arrangement.

zippitippitoes Sun 03-Aug-08 13:21:31

oh im sure it will be fine

www knows these things

and for eg i went to an interview on friday and they mentioned about september starting and i said when in september would the job begin and they said well it depends on the candidates availability ie the right person would get the job and the dtart date would be agreed accordingly

so i am sure that is the case for you dont worry

WideWebWitch Sun 03-Aug-08 13:37:01

Honestly, recruiting people is a PITA. You have to write job specs, get approval, wriate an ad, sift through cvs, arrange interviews, interview people, get references checked, make an offer, arrange a start data and then induct someone. It's all a flaff and it costs around £5k to do. I would NEVER change my mind aobut the right candidate for the sake of 2 weeks, and no-one I know would either.

They didn't ask so you didn't lie, you booked this BEFORE you KNEW if you had the job, no company should be remotely concerned or pissed off with you for not mentioning it. They made an incorrect assumption about your availability, all you have to do is tell them, politely and professionally. No big deal, really.

Good luck, I'm sure it'll be fine!

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 13:45:20

Thanks WWW,thanks all.

Okay,I think I can calmly contact them and explain. Was very worried about how to deal with this.

squiffy Tue 05-Aug-08 10:43:19

TBH, as an employer, if the advert specifically stated a start in September, and I then found out that the person I had offered the job to couldn't start until the 22nd (is that right?) of September, then I would not withdraw an offer but I would be mightily irritated.

That said, it does of course depend on their circumstances. If it is a school for example then missing the first 2 weeks could create a nightmare for them. If it is a company that only has one 'annual' intake of staff, then ditto. But if it is a company that hires people constantly as and when needed then shouldn't be too much of a problem. You will need to work out their situation to be able to decide on how they may feel....

objectivity Tue 05-Aug-08 14:11:36

Ok well it is a school but not a teaching role.

I am available for first week but then not from 8th til 21st.

they can't start induction 1st week sept because line manager is on hols til 8th.

There are 3 of us to be inducted.

squiffy Tue 05-Aug-08 14:28:33

Yes, but that first week is irrelevant, because if they told you to start on the 1st September you would then have to take 2 weeks vacation straight away from your annual entitlement, and you wouldn't do that, would you?

TBH I think you ARE in a pickle, here. You will upset them, and also your colleagues if this means they have to cover for you. I would maybe reconsider how important the 2 week holiday is.

squiffy Tue 05-Aug-08 14:35:56

Sorry, I am not sounding sympathetic, here. I don't mean to sound dismissive, but I know how wound up you can get from the other side of the fence when things like this crop up. Not sure if it is a holiday or not but if it is potentially moveable then maybe call them to explain the dilemma, but offer (if you can) to cancel your trip if it puts employer in v bad position. That would be the best solution i think, if you can do this..

flowerybeanbag Tue 05-Aug-08 15:07:56

Eeek. Hmmmm. If you knew start date would be September and you knew you had this commitment for two weeks in September I really really think you should have mentioned it tbh. I would be unimpressed I'm afraid.

As Squiffy says, if it's a company who recruit all year round and it doesn't really matter when you start, just means a bit of a wait from their point of view, fine, but if it's a school and it's a job that starts specifically in September, that's more of an issue I think.

WWW is right, no company wants to lose someone, start recruitment again and all that. But if there's a close call second place candidate who is available when they need the person and it's a more important start date than a 'normal' company, it might be a bit more tempting to withdraw the offer. Which they could do perfectly legally if you are not able to meet the terms and conditions involved.

I notice the OP was Sunday. Have you spoken to them yet?

objectivity Tue 05-Aug-08 18:13:55

I am posting this later

Thank you for your letter in confirmation of the offer of employment as Family Support Worker. I would be delighted to accept this offer as per the terms set out in your letter. However, regretfully I must inform you that although I am available as of 1st September and for much of the rest of the month, the start date you propose coincides with a prior commitment of mine. I am out of the UK between the 8th and 21st September. I apologise for the fact that this will undoubtedly cause some inconvenience as far as the induction is concerned. I did not mention this at interview as I was at that stage unaware of the precise start date or indeed whether I would be offered the position.

If this is an insurmountable problem I may be able to make slight changes to my schedule but this would involve letting down a third party which I am very keen to avoid. I would certainly be available on Monday 22nd September and at any time before the 8th.

I would be grateful if you could also advise as to precise daily hours as the contract suggests 7.5 hourly days. This would help enormously in terms of me planning my childcare. I am assuming for now that the expected start and finish times coincide with typical school hours of either 8.30am until 4pm or 9am until 4.30pm.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Howzit sound?

pinkteddy Tue 05-Aug-08 18:26:15

I would miss out the 2nd paragraph 'if this is an insurmountable problem' I wouldn't give them a get out clause. I would just say something at the end, I do apologise once again for any inconvenience this may cause. (obviously keep the bit about available start date).

I really wouldn't worry too much about this. Although it will be a pain for the school and they will probably be a bit put out, it is not insurmountable. I am sure they will be able to reschedule the induction stuff and I really don't think for a moment they will withdraw their offer. Most schools abide by local authority terms and conditions. (I work in the education sector btw).

flowerybeanbag Tue 05-Aug-08 19:18:22

I think you should phone whoever your boss would be and explain rather than send a letter. Letter won't be there for a couple of days for a start, and it looks better if you've made the effort to phone and apologise, and gives you the chance to reiterate how keen you are on the position and to discuss options with your potential boss.

RuthT Tue 05-Aug-08 20:01:13

I agree call - I had this exact situation with a new employee who got the job and then couldn't start for 3 weeks from when I asked and then requested a huge chunk of time off to have her wedding is Australia. I harumpphed and said fine - I'd waited so long. tbh it isn't a big deal and you can say honestly that you were carried away at interview and have been really worried about calling. I'd respect you a lot more for calling me and saying this. If I got it by letter I would take it as a sign of how you would work with me in future

squiffy Wed 06-Aug-08 10:30:45

Totally agree with RT and Flowery.

PinkTeddy - remember that the get out clause on their side is they could quite legitimately withdraw the offer. Because it is for a school role and the ad specified a September start then I think just about everyone would assume that the around the 4th-8th of September would be the start date required (private schools and Scottish schools notwithstanding)...

I think it is up to the OP to be as flexible as possible here.

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