Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 employees and workers are given certain rights and responsibilities relating to the protection of their pay. This post will take a look at what the rights and responsibilities of both employers and workers are relating to the payment and protection of wages.

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA 1996”) employers have the right to make deductions from the wages of their workers. However, this is not a blanket, unlimited right. It is unlawful for an employer to make deductions from wages unless the deduction is required or authorised by statute or a provision in the contract, or the worker has given prior written consent to the employer’s deduction. Equally, an employer acts unlawfully if they receive a payment from one of their workers unless the payment is required or authorised by statute or a provision in the contract, or the worker has given prior written consent to the payment. Your employer cannot therefore ask you to pay for unaccounted-for stock or a theft from the till unless you’ve said agreed to pay this money or such payment is required by statute or your contract with your employer.

Who’s covered?

Unlike the provisions relating to unfair dismissal (which only covers “employees”), the legislation covering the payment and protection of workers extends to the wider category of “workers”. A worker is defined as those who have entered into, or work under, a contract of employment and any other contract whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract, whose status is not, by virtue of the contract, that of a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual. An employer doesn’t normally have the same degree of control over a worker that it does over an employee, and there isn’t normally such a mutuality of obligation (i.e. the employer isn’t obliged to provide work and the worker isn’t obliged to do it).

What are wages?

Wages are also defined quite widely. They include any sums payable to the worker by their employer in connection with their employment, including any fee, bonus, holiday payment or other payment referable to the employment, whether payable under contract or otherwise, statutory sick pay, statutory maternity pay, paternity and adoption pay, guarantee pay, medical and maternity suspension pay, payments for statutory time off work, and payments made pursuant to a reinstatement or re-engagement order, interim relief order or protective award.

This can include holiday pay, shift payments, long-service awards, accrued holiday pay (unless there is an express contractual term preventing this), commission, service charges, tips (when paid by cheque or credit card), discretionary bonuses, and payments under a “gardening leave” dismissal. However, tips paid to a waiter or waitress by cash are not defined as wages for the purposes of the ERA 1996.

When is an employer allowed to deduct money from your wages?

An employer is allowed to make deductions from your wages, as above, when authorised by statute or a provision in the contract. For example, an employer can deduct from wages the PAYE and National Insurance Contributions that they are obliged to make. There may also be an express contractual term to this effect. The worker can also agree to the deduction from their wages. This consent has to be informed and can’t be retrospective.

Further, an employer is entitled to deduct money to pay a public authority (i.e. taxes), to remedy against industrial action, or to fulfil a contractual obligation to pay a third party. If there’s a computational error then the lack of wages is not counted as a deduction as such a shortfall was not intentional on the employer’s behalf. Lastly, the employer is entitled to deduct money from a worker’s wages if the worker has been overpaid.

What are your options if you have had money deducted from your wages?

You have a number of options:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Negotiate with your employer
  3. Make a claim to the Employment Tribunal to remedy the unlawful deduction from your wages

If your employer has deducted money from your wages without your consent (and not due to a contractual or statutory obligation) then you may be able to resign (should you wish to do so) and claim for constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract. If the deduction is because of a protected characteristic that you possess (i.e. because of the colour of your skin or the fact that you’ve just returned from maternity leave) then you can also potentially claim discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

 

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.79 Average

    277 Reviews

    Siriana B

    Thorough, efficient, and always available to answer my queries. It was a pleasure to deal with.Thanks

    Posted 3 days ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent speedy service

    Posted 3 days ago

    Robert

    Excellent service, very professional. would definitely use again.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Mary B

    I was very happy with the work Chris did for me. I believe with his help I secured a more favourable outcome both financially and in terms of clauses contained in the legal agreement I ultimately signed. I had utmost trust and confidence in the advice Chris provided throughout. Chris kept me informed at every stage and I found him very efficient at bringing matters to a conclusion without unnecessary delay.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Mark M

    I found Redmans very easy to work with. Mel was very responsive, her advice led to an improved settlement. . Recommended.!

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Fantastic service. I would recommend Redmans to anyone who needed a Solicitor. The communication was second to none and consistent clear guidance was given.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Everyone I dealt with at Redmans were professional, empathetic & always responded promptly and helped make the transition as smooth & efficient as possible for me. If you need legal advice, don’t hesitate & contact the team.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was incredibly helpful and professional. Timely and accurate advice at a time I most needed it. I was extremely impressed and grateful.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Sue W

    The people at Redmans talk to you with respect and make you feel like they take your situation personal. They clearly care and are extremely professional. I have recommended Redmans to many people.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Redmans Solicitors were consistently prompt, efficient and professional from the start of my reaching out to them for support in relation to contentious negotiations of an employment matter that continued for almost two months resulting in a positive settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill was diligent, thorough, empathetic and objective in his advice and guidance, showing deep and broad knowledge of the law and legal processes plus extensive practical experience in handling complex matters, resulting in clear and pragmatic advice in ambiguous circumstances that resulted in a very good outcome. I fully recommend Chris Hadrill and Redmans Solicitors! I have made this review anonymous purely because of the confidentiality obligations in the settlement agreement concluded.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Michelle W

    Redmans solicitors provided legal support and advice for a settlement agreement. Excellent customer service, very professional. The senior associate solicitor kept me updated throughout the process, showed empathy and the agreement was signed-off / completed within the agreed timeline.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Mark W

    Redmans Solicitors were extremely professional and helpful! Chris Hadrill handled my case and was an amazing help! His guidance, advice and understanding to my redundancy settlement were always clear, concise and very helpful and I am very grateful to him, and glad I found Redmans to help with my settlement. I highly recommend them!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

    Posted 2 months ago

    Margaret A

    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sanja K

    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 2 months ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 2 months ago