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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50158
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have recently had a problem with my job & would like to understand

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I have recently had a problem with my job & would like to understand my legal rights. I am working in a bar & am paid cash in hand normally on a weekly basis. Since before Christmas this has now stopped being regular & they are now 3 weeks in arrears. They also have 2 weeks on my pay from July which has never been paid. What can I do to make sure I get my money work that I have done?
Ben Jones : , my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

I have worked there 7 months


There are many "illegal" types of behaviours, like they pay people below minimum wage, they also don't give payslips.


I would really like to understand my rights quite urgently

Ben Jones :

, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. This potentially 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; or

  • If the employee has given their explicit written agreement deductions to be made.

If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be unlawful. 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:

  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:

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.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you


Is it possible to help with drafting a letter that could help me.


None of the 3 listed circumstances are relevant to my situation to withheld the money.


I have now left the job as the environment has become unbearable. I am now even more concerned about not getting the money that is owed to me.

Ben Jones :

You can send a letter along those lines:

Dear X

I am concerned that I have not been paid I have done . I am owed a total of £X [detail how much and many shifts/hours, etc]

Please note that your failure to pay me already undertaken is a breach of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and amounts to unlawful deduction of wages.

I would therefore request that all money that is owed is paid no later than 5 February 2015. Please be advised that failure to be paid the above amount will leave me with no other option but to pursue this matter further by making a claim in the Employment Tribunal or the Small Claims Court.

As part of my evidence I may have to detail the working practices at the company, some of which would be illegal, so it would be in the interest of both parties to resolve this amicably without the need to take the matter further.

Yours sincerely


Ben Jones :

Does this help?

Ben Jones :

, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Ben Jones :

has your query been answered please?

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