Your employer is not allowed to make a deduction from your pay or wages unless:
The Employment Rights Act 1996 affords protection against unlawful deductions from wages to employees, agency workers (but not self employed people) and apprentices.Back to contents
If you are underpaid you should:
If the matter is not resolved, call us. You may have grounds for a grievance or possibly a claim for unauthorised deductions from wages under Part II Employment Rights Act 1996.Back to contents
Before bringing a claim for unlawful deduction from your wages, call us for advice. We will explore whether you may have grounds to take out a grievance.
You can make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the underpayment. If there is more than one deduction from your wage, then provided that the complaint is made within three months of the last deduction, you can also claim for the earlier deductions. Although 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 for 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.Back to contents
You can make a claim in the small claims court for up to £10,000 in England and Wales and £3,000 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. If the case is thought to be too complex, or above the small claims track limit, the judge can decide that you will have to use the full county court. The county courts deal with a wide range of civil cases including employment and consumer disputes, personal injury and debts.Back to contents