News Article

latest news in employment law

Government get recruitment process wrong.

Published 11 Sep 2018

With a fair amount of certainty it can be stated that Government did make an offer of employment to Derek Handley, "former" Chief Technology Officer and that he accepted the said offer. As a result of then not honoring the agreement, Government ended up paying out $107,500.00 from tax payers money.

On 13 September 2018, Derek Handley issued a statement wherein he said that ".....(Government) terminated my contract (and) I have been offered a settlement pay out as part of the contract." This would indicate that a contract existed between Handley and Government - an accepted offer of employment. 

Even though being silent on whether or not an offer was actually made to Handley, Minister Meagan Woods said that that they (Government) decided to stop the recruitment process and rethink the role of CTO. She also said that a settlement offer was made to Handley equivalent of three months salary and costs.

If they were still in the recruitment phase, no offer would have been made and accepted and therefore no obligation on Government to make any kind of pay out to Handley. Neither would Handley have uprooted his family and moved back to New Zealand after living in New York for the past ten years.

Now if this is not a sure tell that an offer was made and accepted, we don't know what is... 

 Important to note when making an offer of employment to a candidate;

  1. Ensure you have an expiry date and time stipulated in the offer. This stops you from waiting indefinitely for a response from the candidate to accept or decline your offer of employment, and this will also safeguard you when you then make the offer to another candidate as a result of the initial candidate not responding.
  2. Verbal offers and verbal acceptances count just the same as written ones.
  3. An offer can be retracted by the Employer ONLY if the candidate has not yet accepted the offer. Once an offer has been accepted, you will not be able to withdraw the offer.
  4. As soon as an offer of employment is accepted by a candidate the Employment Agreement comes to life. 
  5. Should it arise that an Employee was dishonest on their application, but they have not yet started employment, only accepted the offer, normal disciplinary procedures would also have to be followed as they are deemed to be an employee already.

If you are unsure about any aspect of recruitment or need the correct letters and words to use please see our Recruitment guide eBook.
This is available to download in the Library section of the Employers Toolbox for members otherwise you may purchase your copy here.