Unlawful Deduction

Unlawful Deductions from Wages

What is an unlawful deduction from wages?

If you have not received your normal salary, been paid less than you should receive, not received holiday pay or any bonus or commission due to you, this could amount to an unlawful deduction from wages.
It will be unlawful if:

  • it is not required by law;
  • there is no right to do so under your contract of employment;
  • you have not agreed to this deduction being made.

There are some limited exceptions regarding strike action and people who work in the retail trade but we can advise you on that.

Does ‘Wages’ just mean my salary?

No, the definition of wages is very broad and is set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996.  Some examples of what this will cover are set out below:

  • salary
  • holiday pay
  • payment of protective awards
  • statutory sick pay
  • bonus
  • commission
  • statutory maternity pay

What is not covered?

There are also specific exclusions to the definition of ‘wages’, including the following:

  • If the wages have been advanced by your employer
  • If you have taken a loan from the company
  • Expenses acquired in relation with employment
  • Pension scheme payments owed or related to retirement
  • Any payment for loss of office or in relation to a redundancy

If the money you are owed does not fall within the ambit of the Employment Rights Act, you may be able to make a breach of contract claim in the employment tribunal or the county court.

Please note that any such claim brought in the employment tribunal is subject to a limit of £25,000.  We can advise you on the appropriate forum and also warn you if there is any risk of a counterclaim from your employer.

How could I get my money back?

You could first of all raise a grievance with your employer and we can help you with that.  If that fails to work, then you could bring a claim either in the employment tribunal or the county court.  There are no fees for bringing a claim in the employment tribunal.

It is mandatory to go through the Early Conciliation Process which ACAS runs and we can advise you and guide you through this process.


Do you fell you have been discriminated at work?

If you believe that you have been discriminated against, please call Karin Henson for a confidential, no obligations chat about your options on 0121 392 7479 or 07980 837148. We can provide you with advice on reaching a satisfactory resolution, whether that be raising the issues informally with your employer, submitting a grievance or even issuing a Tribunal claim.



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