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No proof of employment agreement

February 2009 - Employment. Legal Developments by Norrbom Vinding Law Firm, member of ius laboris.

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02-02-2009 - A job applicant was not entitled to pay during the notice period or compensation for failure to provide a statement of employment particulars. The applicant failed to prove that he had been hired in the first place

High Court judgment

Annemarie Boddum
amb@norrbomvinding.com

A job applicant was not entitled to pay during the notice period or compensation for failure to provide a statement of employment particulars. The applicant failed to prove that he had been hired in the first place.

The High Court found for the company in a claim brought by a job applicant for pay during the notice period and compensation for failure to provide a statement of employment particulars, the job applicant failing to prove that an employment agreement had actually been made.

The candidate had applied for one job, but at the interview he was offered another job with the same company. The company wanted the candidate to start work as soon as possible and they agreed that he would start in about one week. After the candidate had been 3 days at the company, he was given a draft employment contract. He thought that it was deficient and therefore amended it, but when the company told him that the amendments were unacceptable, the candidate went home.

The proceedings that followed concerned the question of whether a binding employment agreement had been made and, if so, whether the candidate was entitled to pay during the notice period and compensation under the Danish Statement of Employment Particulars Act. The candidate argued that a binding employment agreement had been made and that he had then been given notice and released from the duty to work. The company, on the other hand, argued that the candidate had only been visiting the premises to see if he wanted to take the job.

The Court held that no employment agreement had been made, taking into account that neither the original nor the revised draft employment contract mentioned anything about a commencement date and, also, neither of the two drafts had been signed. In addition, on the evidence, there was no basis for presuming that the work carried out by the candidate in the week in question had been anything other than insignificant to the company. On those grounds and on the evidence received from witnesses, the Court was not satisfied that an employment agreement had been made.

In Norrbom Vinding's view,

  • the case illustrates the evidential difficulties that may arise if the contractual side of things is not in place from the outset

This information does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such

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