Changes to oral contract

Making changes when there is no written contract in place
By Tim Mitchell
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 05/02/2012

Question: If a job applicant accepts a written job offer that isn’t signed, can any changes be made for the formal employment contract to be signed before the applicant starts work? Which document has precedence?

Answer: A contract arises when there is an offer and an acceptance of that offer, consideration flowing between the parties and terms that are sufficiently certain to allow enforcement.

Typically, the contract is complete when the acceptance of the offer is communicated to the offeror. Accordingly, once the job applicant indicates to the prospective employer that she agrees to the terms of the unsigned offer, an employment relationship will normally have been created. The required consideration for the contract is the mutual exchange of promises, with the prospective employee offering to provide services to the employer and the prospective employer offering to pay for those services.