Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and does your contract state they can do that?
Please note I am travelling home shortly so will have to provide my response later this evening thanks
Thanks for your patience. If the employer withholds your pay for this reason then it would potentially amount to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is made illegal under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
Under law, an employer can only make deductions from, or withhold an employee’s wages in the following circumstances:
· If it is legally allowed (e.g. to deduct tax);
· If it is to recover an earlier overpayment of wages made by the employer;
· If their contract specifically allows for the deductions to be made; or
· If the employee has given their explicit written agreement for the deductions to be made.
If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be unlawful. So really they need a specific contractual clause accepted by you allowing them to do this in order to be legally able to withhold your pay.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should they still proceed with withholding your pay, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Thank you. I the deductions are made, then in order to try and resolve this, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that this is being treated as unlawful deduction of wages and ask them to pay back the money within 7 days. Advise them that if they fail to pay the money that is owed, legal proceedings could follow.
If the employer does not return the money as requested, the following options are available:
1. Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the deductions were made. To make the claim, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here: https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/employment-tribunals
2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years and is usually used if you are out of time to claim in the Tribunal. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.
Hopefully by warning the employer you are aware of your rights and are not going to hesitate taking further action they will be prompted to reconsider their position and work towards resolving this.