Withdrawing Job Offers

Can a company in Singapore withdraw a job offer if the background screening report is not satisfactory? What are the implications? What kinds of policies should a company have regarding background or reference checks and the potential withdrawal of job offers?

Can a company in Singapore withdraw job offer if the background screening report is not satisfactory? What are the implications?

Yes, a company in Singapore can withdraw a job offer if the background screening report of a candidate is unsatisfactory.

This practice is common in many countries, including Singapore, where companies rely on background checks to ensure the credibility and suitability of potential employees.

Implications can vary based on the specific circumstances and the company’s policies. Typically, the implications might include:

Rescinding the Job Offer: The company may retract the job offer based on the findings of the background check, citing discrepancies or unsatisfactory results.

Loss of Opportunity: For the candidate, this could mean losing the opportunity for the job, which might have been dependent on the successful completion of the background check.

Professional Reputation: Depending on the reason for the unsatisfactory background check, there could be potential damage to the candidate’s professional reputation, especially if the issues discovered are serious.

Legal Implications: If there are legal reasons for the withdrawal, the company may need to provide specific reasons and follow the legal protocols outlined in Singapore’s employment laws to avoid potential repercussions.

Future Employment: An unsatisfactory background check might affect the candidate’s chances of securing similar positions in other companies, especially if the issues discovered are of a serious nature.

It’s essential for companies to adhere to local employment laws and have clear policies in place regarding background checks and the potential withdrawal of job offers based on these findings.

Similarly, candidates should be aware of their rights and the recourse available to them if a job offer is withdrawn based on a background check.

What kinds of policies should a company have regarding background or reference checks and the potential withdrawal of job offers?

A company’s policies regarding background or reference checks and the potential withdrawal of job offers should be comprehensive and fair, aligning with local laws and ethical standards. Here are some key components such policies should encompass:

Consistency and Transparency: Clearly outline the company’s background check process, including what is checked (e.g., criminal history, employment verification, education verification). Ensure consistency in applying these checks to all candidates for similar positions to avoid discrimination.

Timing and Consent: Specify when in the hiring process the background checks will be conducted (typically after a conditional job offer). Obtain explicit consent from candidates to conduct background checks and inform them of the process and its implications.

Types of Checks and Sources: Define the types of checks to be performed (criminal, credit, education, employment history, etc.). Identify reputable sources or agencies for conducting these checks.

Criteria for Evaluation: Establish clear criteria for evaluating the results of background checks. Determine what constitutes a satisfactory or unsatisfactory report and the actions to be taken based on these findings.

Withdrawal of Job Offers: Specify circumstances under which a job offer might be withdrawn based on the background check results. Provide reasons for withdrawal and ensure they align with legal and ethical standards.

Appeals Process: Outline a process for candidates to address any discrepancies or inaccuracies found in their background checks. Allow candidates an opportunity to provide explanations or mitigating circumstances before making a final decision.

Legal Compliance: Ensure that the policies comply with local laws and regulations concerning background checks and employment practices. Take measures to protect candidate privacy and handle sensitive information securely.

Communication: Communicate clearly and sensitively with candidates about the background check process, its significance, and the potential impact on employment decisions.

Training and Compliance: Train HR personnel or those responsible for conducting background checks to ensure compliance with company policies and legal requirements.

Documentation: Maintain proper documentation of the background check process, including consent forms, reports, and any correspondence with candidates.

Developing and implementing robust policies around background checks and job offer withdrawals is crucial to ensure fairness, transparency, and legal compliance throughout the hiring process.

Regular review and updates to these policies based on changes in regulations or company needs are also important.

Can a company in Singapore withdraw a job offer?

Yes: 76.19%

No: 4.76%

Maybe: 14.29%

Not Sure: 4.76%


Can withdraw if the Letter of employment status clearly the offer is subject to background screening. Cannot withdraw if did not verbally inform the offer candidate. – Jenny

Companies have the right to withdraw job offers. However, companies should communicate clearly to the potential candidate, that the job is offered verbally in principle, subject to the reference checks, and in some cases, be certified medically fit by the doctor. This will ensure that misunderstanding is kept to a minimal level. After ensuring all necessary checks have been done and cleared, the company can move ahead to secure the candidate through the contract signing. – Christina

We add a clause in the offer letter stating that the job offer is subject to successful completion and outcome of the background check. – Ann

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