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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My employer has withheld my wages and p45 for a small amout

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My employer has withheld my wages and p45 for a small amout of damage he says i have caused to his truck. I have not signed anything to say i was liable for any damages and am not under contract what can i do
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Does your contract say they can make such deductions?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hi there, this likely amounts 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 and the employer can be pursued further to repay you what you are due. This can be done either in the employment tribunal or the county court.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow to take this further, 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

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46146
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have spoken to my employer and he says he is is holding my pay until i sort out how i pay for the damage, as i have not signed anything to say i am liable and have no contact how do i stand.
I did ask for a contract several times but he never sent it.
Thanks kervin
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. It is not legally possible for them to withhold your pay whilst you choose how to pay for the damage – these are two completely separate things and your legal rights entitle you to be paid for what you are owed regardless of whether you may have caused damage. If they wanted to withhold the money then they should have had a very clear clause in your contract, which there isn’t.

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.

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