If you can't sort things out directly with your employer (either informally or formally via a grievance), it is important to contact us for advice. We will explore the options with you. With our support, one option could be to bring an employment tribunal claim for unlawful deduction from your wages. But to do this ACAS has to be notified. They will offer you the opportunity to use Early Conciliation.
A claim to an employment tribunal can be made within three months (less one day) of the underpayment. If there is more than one deduction from your wage, then provided that the complaint is made within three months (less one day) of the last deduction, and there isn’t a break of more than three months in the series (less one day), you can also claim for the earlier deductions. If there has been a break of more than three months between successive deductions that will break the chain. In addition, for claims presented on or after 1 July 2015, there is a two-year cap on back pay. See the Deductions from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014.
If you miss the three month time limit and cannot make a claim to an employment tribunal, you can pursue your claim through the county court via a breach of contract claim. The limitation period is six years from the date of the breach. In Scotland, this should be done through the sheriff’s court within five years of the unlawful deduction.
Timing is very important. Make sure you are within the time limits for making a claim to the employment tribunal.