You’re entitled to be paid fairly for the work you do. It’s against the law for your employer to make unfair deductions from your wage
You had a right to be paid what was agreed with your employer. This is usually set out in your employment contract.
You can claim back what you’re owed when your employer:
- Has not paid your wages.
- Has not paid you at the agreed higher rate (for working unsocial hours or public holidays).
- Has not paid you an extra overtime allowance or rate.
- Has not paid you the bonus you are entitled to receive.
- Has not paid you other financial benefits such as pension contributions.
- Has made unfair deductions or stoppages from your pay.
- Has deducted money that you did not agree with (such as for ‘services’ it is alleged the employer provided – such as travel to a work site).
- Has paid you at a rate less than the government set ‘minimum wage’.
- The starting point is to first contact the employer to find out why you have not been paid or had a deduction made from your pay.
You will also need to gather proof that you carried out the work and that you had a right to be paid for it.
If your employer refuses to pay and does not give a fair reason for doing this, you can make a claim against them. You can claim for the breach of your employment contract at either the employment tribunal or small claims court (part of the county court).
The employment tribunal has a deadline of three months, less one day to claim your missing pay.
The small claims court is for claims up to £10,000 and gives you six years to claim. As well as unpaid wages, you can also claim for any employer loan, pension payment, expenses, redundancy pay or benefits such as private health care and gym membership that were covered by your employment contract. Find out more about our small claim service.
If your claim is for over £10,000 you can use the county court, where you can claim for the same losses as in the small claims court, except that if you win your claim you can also claim back the bulk of your legal costs.
For claims under £10,000 you may want to proceed on your own. To help you with this we can assist by explaining how the complex rules apply to your particular situation, the wording of your request to your employer and completing the court forms. Ask about for our £99 Ask the Legal Expert service when you use our confidential Free First Advice service to find out how we can help you.