Job Offer Letter:
It is the intention of the employer to appoint a prospective employee under conditions and features that are essentially defined in the job offer letter sent or handed over to the prospective employee. This offer is generally prepared in writing in order to prove its content easily, and it may include terms of contract and spells out specific details regarding salary, benefits, description of the position and any pertinent details concerning employment conditions. Other details would be discussed upon agreement and signing the employment contract which would be concluded between the two parties.
Form of Job Offer Letter:
The job offer letter may be in the form of a letter on the company or employer official letterhead, which is signed and sealed by the company stamp. This letter may be sent to the prospective employee by regular mail, hand delivery, by e-mail, fax or by social media such as (What’s App or Facebook ...) Or it may be in the form of an e-mail sent from the employer's official e-mail and electronically signed or signed by the head of Human Resources department or by the company’s general manager or any person who has the task of selecting and appointing employees. All these modern means are legally considered as a proof.
Legal Obligation of Job Offer Letter for Both Parties:
The job offer letter issued by the employer to the prospective employee is considered as an affirmative acceptance issued by the employer, awaiting acceptance from the prospective employee. If the prospective employee amends the job offer letter, this shall be deemed as a new affirmation by the prospective employee awaiting acceptance from the employer in accordance with the general rules of contracts, thus, if the prospective employee agrees with what has been included in the job offer letter, then the contract is concluded and other details shall be governed by their agreement in the employment contract.
Employment contract Supersedes the job offer letter:
It is known in contracts that the subsequent contract supersedes the previous, therefore, if the parties in the employment contract agree on the terms and conditions which vary or in conflict with the job offer letter, in this case, what prevails between the parties is the employment contract as it has been concluded after the job offer letter. This is what has been set out in Dubai Courts judgments in terms of what is agreed upon in the employment contract is considered in determining the rights and obligations of both the employer and the employee. Therefore, what has been indicated in the job offer letter are reproduced in the employment contract, whereas, the new contract regulates the relationship between the two parties, which means that they may intentionally agree to exclude what was provided or in conflict with the terms and conditions in the previous contract. (Dubai Court of Cassation judgment No. 182 of 2016, Labor Appeal issued on 10/01/2017)
In case the employment contract does not mention some of what has been agreed upon in the job offer letter, it shall take into account what has been provided in the job offer letter, unless it has been indicated in the employment contract clearly and expressly the intention of cancelling all that has been previously agreed between the two parties.
Accepting the job offer letter does not mean starting of a working relationship:
The job offer letter does not mean that the employment relationship has started unless there is a proof that it has actually started. The job offer letter is an offer of employment from the employer to the prospective employee and not the actual commencement of employment date, thus, the one who claims that the employment relationship has started must prove it. This is what has been set out in Dubai Judiciary judgments, as it was stated by one of the provisions that “a job offer letter does not mean that the employment relationship between the employee and the employer has started unless there is a written proof which clarifies that the offer has already been effective and the burden of proof shall be borne by the party who is claiming starting the employment relationship”. (Dubai Court of Cassation Judgment No. 109/2009 Labor Appeal issued on 26/01/2010).
Legal liability arising of non-compliance of job offer letter:
If the prospective employee or the employer does not comply with terms and conditions in the job offer letter after accepting it and becomes a binding contract between them in accordance with the general rules of contracts, such as if the employee refrains from joining the work with the employer or if the employer evades letting the employee join the company, in this case, the party who breaches the obligation has to compensate the other party for damages caused or loss of profits.
Whereas, accepting the job offer letter by the prospective employee, the employer has an obligation to employ him/her according to the job offer letter and in accordance with the good faith of the implementation of the contract. Whereas, it has been set out in the Judiciary Judgments that the contract is the law of the contracting parties and it becomes valid with existence and availability of its conditions and terms and has legal implications which regulates the relations between the contracting parties. According to Article 246 of the UAE Civil Transactions Law, the contract shall be implemented according to the provisions contained therein and in a manner consistent with the requirements of good faith, and that the obligations established by the contract shall be carried out in accordance with the nature of the conduct and the requirements for its implementation in good faith. (Dubai Court of Cassation judgment issued on 09-03-2017 Appeal No 6/2017 Civil Appeal).
If the employer violates what has been stated in the job offer letter, this will cause damage to the prospective employee, as he may have resigned from his previous work upon receiving the job offer letter and accepting it, this would result loss of his income, as he would not be able to return to his previous work because the new employer has breached his commitment.
Moreover, the prospective employee may be from abroad and relocated to the new workplace because of the job offer letter, only to find out that there is no available work as promised by the employer, which leads to damage and loss of his previous work, incurred travel expenses, therefore, all these must be taken into account in the assessment of compensation for damages.
Furthermore, if the prospective employee refuses to join the company in accordance with the agreed job offer letter, it may result to damage and loss to the employer, such as if the employer is committed to a specific project, contracted with others to provide a specific service, or a certain product, and its implementation depended on the commitment of the employee to join the work, these shall be taken into account in estimating the compensation.
Dubai Court of Cassation judgments stipulated that compensation in contractual liability, if not stated in the law or in the contract, it may be assessed by the judge and it must include the loss of the creditor’s rights. There is nothing in the law that prevents the calculation of loss - in the loss of profits – if the injured party would hope to be compensated as long as this hope is reasonably justified, then it must be compensated. (Dubai Court of Cassation Judgments of 21-01-2018 Appeal No. 855/2017 Commercial Appeal).