Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Does your contract say they can do this and when were the deductions made?
Discrimination on what grounds?
Is there a policy which says you have to clock in when you start instead of when you arrive?
An employer has the legal right to deduct overpayments from an employee’s pay without seeking the employee’s consent. So the main issue is whether you were overpaid for these times by clocking in earlier than you should have. This should be detailed in a workplace policy, for example the employer could have a specific requirement that you should only clock in when you start work, rather than when you arrive. It is not a legal requirement to clock in when you arrive. However, if there was no policy in place (you should check your contract for this and all workplace policies) then you can argue that the deductions were unlawful.
If this was the case then you would have normally had 3 months from the date of the deductions to make a claim for this in the employment tribunal, which you cannot do as you are out of time. You can however still try ad pursue it through the small claims court as a breach of contract claim as the time limit there is 6 years.
As to discrimination I am afraid that is unlikely to be a valid claim here as it only occurs if you are treated detrimentally due to your age, gender, race, religion, disability, etc – these are not the factors for your treatment here so it is unlikely to be discrimination which you can pursue.
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Thank you. If a party wishes to pursue another for a debt arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:
1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the debt in question. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.
As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.