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Counter offer after signing contract

  • 27-02-2023 10:31am
    Registered Users Posts: 202 ✭✭

    Just wondering what the etiquette is in a situation like this.

    So I was offered a job (IT related) with a new company with a 20% increase. I agreed and signed the contract. Handed my notice into work and a few days later my current employer offered to match the increase if I stay. I quite like my current role and the main motivation for me was money, as I was underpaid, so now I'm conflicted. I am happy to stay where I am, but I know it's not a great move for the new employer. This situation certainly wasn't my intention and I feel bad about rejecting their offer. Can you reject a role legally if you've signed the contract but not started?


  • Registered Users Posts: 282 ✭✭sirmixalot

    Why not take the role, you'll probably learn more. I get that you are probably comfortable with the present employer but change can be really good sometimes. Use the new role as a stepping stone to another job later for more money. That would be harder to do in your present employment. That's just my POV on it, that's what I've done in my career and hardly ever looked back. But each to their own.

    Regards you're contract, I'd read what they sent you or call HR and let them know your predicament, never know the new role might add another 5 or 10% if they are really keen on you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 34,608 ✭✭✭✭o1s1n
    Master of the Universe

    Just to play devil's advocate, If you quite like your current role and the main motivation was money, then you got the extra money you wanted so why not just stay in your role?

    As sirmixalot said, change can be good sure - but it can also go really badly. Lots of folks change role and really regret moving.

    If you are bored in your current job then maybe give it a think, but if you're genuinely happy then why move? If you move and it's an improvement, even better - however if it's not, you've given up a job you liked which also had a salary bump.

    As a side point, it would be interesting to see if the new employer also comes back with a counter offer. It might not be over yet!

  • Registered Users Posts: 202 ✭✭needhelpguy

    Thanks for the replies. Yes for the most part it's pay related, I've felt very undervalued for a while now and they wouldn't bump me up despite asking and showing what's on offer for similar roles before I got the contract. Despite that it's a good company, good team, close to home, good benefits etc.

    Maybe a change would be good for me but I'd be happy to stay aswell. It's a tough decision honestly. I might love the new place, I might hate it and regret taking it.

    But I'd be more concerned that I've already signed the contract.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,024 ✭✭✭Smee_Again

    I'd follow through on the move, asking for more money only to be told no but then matching an offer later on would sour the relationship for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,589 ✭✭✭Squatman

    same as. Theres a reason you looked elsewhere, and if you stay, you will soon figure out that the same people who threw a pay rise at you, are the same people that have been exploiting your work for years, you will soon be sick of them. Complain and leave. Dont hang around complaining

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,269 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    To answer your question, should you decide to stay in your current role there is effectively zero the new employer can do about it. They may be unhappy, but you most certainly will not find yourself in any legal trouble. You aren't a slave after all, you cannot be forced to work where you do not want to.

    Signing a contract means little in this regard. After all, contract or not they can let you go at any time in the first year with minimal notice period and there would be nothing you could do about it. This is the same principle, except that as you have not started yet then the notice period is minimal.

    I have hired lots of people over the years, and never considered a hire done until they actually set foot in the door, the risk of a counter offer was always hanging over the process. If they are good staff then their old place is going to fight for them, thats just the way it is.

    Stay or go, thats up to you. But make your choice based on what you actually want to do, don't for one second think that you have any obligation to go just because you scribbled your name on a bit of paper.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,084 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    Your current employer has underpaid you up to now and is only will to give you the market rate now because they have no alternative, do you think that in future they will treat you any better now that you are staying really against they will???

    Time to move on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,507 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Depending on your industry, I'd think long and hard about reneging on the offer from the new company. If there's a chance you could burn bridges in a small or niche sector, I'd advise against it. I'd also consider whether you want to stay working for a company that valued you so little that they only bothered to offer you a salary increase when they realised they'd have to go to the hassle of replacing you.

    The majority of people who accept a counter offer from their employer end up leaving within a year anyway. So I'd be asking myself is it worth the hassle of potentially pissing off my proposed new employer and then having to go through the whole application & interview process all over again a few months down the line anyway. Getting a new job is an arduous, repetitive process, which is why many people just stay put. You have a bird in the hand now - I'm not sure I'd be swapping it for two in the bush out of what sounds like complacency, tbh.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭gameoverdude

    Absolutely this. They only value you when they go "oh no. We're in trouble". Guarantee you you'll be looking to move in 6 months and I'd say you've been marked now. Move is my opinion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭Staplor

    I'd leave, they matched your offer when you went to leave, no chance you'll keep on an upward trajectory, next pay rise will be minimal (because you got 20% last raise). If they came back with a better offer then I'd maybe consider it, but if there's no good reason to stay then I'd go.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,921 ✭✭✭kirving

    Your current employer only raised your salary when you threatened to leave. You're going to have to pull the same card the next time you want a raise - and every single time in future.

    You are doing yourself a much better service if you leave, and come back in future (for even more money!) than if you syay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭Staplor

    I know someone who left and came back a year later, whopper increases each time!

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,767 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    If you don't leave you'll never be able negotiate again in your old company.

  • Registered Users Posts: 624 ✭✭✭Meeoow

    What employer is going to pay you more than they can get away with? You are better off staying where you are if you are happy there. Similar happened to me 3 years ago. I moved for better money, current employer offered me more, but I took offence that they only offered me more when I was leaving. I deeply regretted the move, and left the job after a year and a half. I'm in a better job now, but the grass isn't always greener.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,091 ✭✭✭✭Gael23

    Yes you can reject it but don’t expect to be considered for future roles with that company