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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have money deducted from my pay for not attending

Resolved Question:

I have money deducted from my pay for not attending training.
I have not signed to agree to this in my employment contract.
The company policy was updated recently to state that missed training will be charged, but I have not signed this policy.
I am told by my employer that this is not a contract matter, as it is in the company policy and they are following the policy.
Are they acting legally, can I claim the money back?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

So the policy was not part of the contract?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Not when I signed.
This policy has been added since I started my current role.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

This potentially amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is dealt with 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 the contract specifically allows for the deductions to be made

· If the employee has given their explicit written consent

If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be unlawful and in your case the above conditions allowing for this deduction do not appear to have been met.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the options you have on trying to recover these. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
if my original contract contains a clause regarding 'following all policies and procedures' am I correct that this does not ammount to explicit consent?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

No it does not

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
How would you recommend going about recovering these costs?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

To take the matter further, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that their actions are treated as unlawful deduction from wages and ask them to repay the amount in question within 7 days. State that if they fail to do so, legal proceedings could follow to recover what is owed.

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. Before making the claim ACAS must be engaged to negotiate with the employer and try to resolve this without the need for legal action. The relevant form to start this can be found here: https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years. Also there is no need to negotiate before starting a claim. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

Hopefully by warning the employer that their actions are likely unlawful and that legal action is considered, they will be prompted to try and resolve this.