Is Terminating An Worker Earlier than They Begin Working Authorized?

As an employer, have you ever ever questioned whether or not terminating an worker earlier than they begin is authorized? 

This may sound tempting, however earlier than you proceed, it is advisable to decide whether or not it’s authorized. Alternatively, as an worker beginning a brand new job is at all times thrilling, providing numerous alternatives and connections. However what occurs for those who signal your employment contract and your employer terminates your employment earlier than your first day?

On this article, we’ll clarify whether or not an worker will be terminated earlier than they begin their job, the explanations an employer can select to terminate an worker’s employment contract earlier than they begin, and solutions to different ceaselessly requested questions.

Learn alongside!

It’s authorized for employers to terminate an worker earlier than they begin. Nevertheless, that is solely authorized in some circumstances. As an employer, a technique you may make sure you’re legally terminating an worker earlier than they begin their job is by together with a time period of their employment settlement that their employment solely begins as soon as they begin their job.

Are you able to be terminated earlier than your first day?

Typically, terminating an worker’s employment contract earlier than it begins taking impact, i.e. when the worker really begins the job, leads to an employer breaching their authorized obligations as a result of a contract is a legally binding settlement. Subsequently the worker who has been terminated can take authorized motion towards their employer. 

The worker’s means to take authorized motion is especially essential if they’ve sacrificed quite a lot of time, cash, resigned from their present job, and different job alternatives to begin their new job. An worker would have the ability to sue the employer for the next:

  • They will sue the employer for breaching the contract, and it will enable them to get well any losses they’ve suffered because of an employer’s breach
  • An worker can sue the employer for misplaced alternative attributable to them signing their employment contract as they may have discovered a unique job and been employed by a unique employer

Can an worker who has been terminated earlier than they begin make an unfair dismissal declare?

Typically, when an worker faces unfair dismissal, they will apply to the Fair Work Commission for attainable options beneath section 394 of the Fair Work Act 2009. Nevertheless, there are particular circumstances that need to be met for an worker to have the ability to full this utility. These embrace the next: 

  • An worker can solely apply if they’ve been employed for a minimum of one yr if their employer has 15 staff or much less. Subsequently, they’d be thought-about to be a small enterprise employer.
  • If the employer has greater than 15 staff, the worker can apply if they’ve been employed by the employer for a minimum of six months.

Subsequently, staff who’ve had their employment cancelled earlier than their first day don’t meet this working time requirement and are unable to use to the Honest Work Fee for an unfair dismissal declare.

What are the frequent causes an employer would wish to terminate an worker earlier than they begin?

The commonest purpose an worker could select to fireside an worker earlier than they begin a job is because of an worker failing a pre-employment verify. A pre-employment screening is the verification of the worker’s id and credentials. The aim of a pre-employment verify is to make sure an worker has not lied on their resume or has a prison background associated to the work they’re making use of for.

As a pre-employment verify is a obligatory a part of the job interview, the employer can terminate a possible worker.

As an employer, you need to be cautious to keep away from terminating an worker’s employment due to discriminatory causes, as that is unlawful as employers are legally required to keep away from discrimination when hiring staff.

When can an employer terminate an worker after they begin their job?

Staff often begin a job with a probationary interval of three or six months. Throughout your probation interval, your employer can terminate you so long as they give you one week’s discover. If in case you have already began your function, your new employer could terminate you with little or no discover for those who commit severe misconduct.

When can an employer terminate an worker earlier than they begin with out offering a treatment?

It’s authorized to terminate an worker with out discover in some conditions earlier than a possible worker begins the job. In these circumstances, there aren’t any treatments out there for the workers. Two frequent causes an worker could also be terminated earlier than they begin their job is that if they commit severe misconduct or if the employer discovers that the worker has lied on their resume.

1. Critical misconduct

If an worker commits severe misconduct earlier than beginning the job, their employment will be terminated with out prior discover. Critical misconduct can embrace the next:

These actions contain breaching the corporate code of conduct.

2. Mendacity on their resume

An worker will be fired in the event that they lied on their resume. For instance, in case you are employed for a nursing place however have supplied a transcript of a pretend nursing diploma, you will be fired. On this case, this individual has dedicated fraud, and they are often fired instantly with out discover. If an worker has been fired attributable to mendacity on their resume, there aren’t any treatments or compensation out there to them.

How are you going to decide whether or not you may terminate an worker earlier than they begin the job?

If you wish to terminate an worker’s employment contract earlier than their begin date, it is best to take a look at their employment contract to see whether or not there are any phrases within the contract that enable you to take action. For instance, the contract might embrace a time period that outlines that the place is conditional upon the worker beginning the job. On this foundation, it could be authorized to terminate the employment contract earlier than the worker begins working.

Alternatively, if the employment contract the worker has signed comprises a probationary interval, it will not be attainable to terminate the worker and not using a trigger earlier than the beginning. On this scenario, the worker gained’t have the ability to be terminated earlier than they begin, and also you’ll have to offer them with the discover interval that’s included of their employment contract.

Nationwide employment requirements can apply if the worker’s employment contract doesn’t embrace any phrases relating to probation intervals or a discover of termination. The Fair Work Ombudsman National Employment Standards state that the minimal discover interval that have to be supplied to staff is one week. Nevertheless, for those who’re terminating an informal worker, a discover interval isn’t required. 


As an employer, you’re allowed to terminate an worker’s employment earlier than they begin the job beneath sure circumstances. When you’re not sure whether or not you’re allowed to terminate the worker, it is best to rent a lawyer to keep away from authorized penalties corresponding to the worker taking authorized motion towards you.

As an worker, it’s essential to know your rights for those who’re dealing with dismissal earlier than you begin a brand new job. When you’re unsure you probably have been fired legally and also you want authorized recommendation, it is best to rent a lawyer to find out whether or not you may take authorized motion.