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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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When I was joining my present employer I was told that after

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when I was joining my present employer I was told that after 3 months my salary would be raised from 25k to 28k per annum. I joined Sept 2013 so should receive a rise in Dec 2013/Jan 2014.
I have now queried it and it seems my employer is only ok with raising my salary with effect from May 2015, but seems unwilling to pay the difference for the period since the end of Dec 2013 till now.
The question is: am I right in thinking I am legally entitled to that money? After all, it's around 4K now....
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was this promise made verbally or in writing and do you have evidence of what exactly you were promised?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Ben, thanks for such a speedy response. Yes, of course I do have evidence of what I was promised. The situation was as follows: when I received my contract along with my offer letter in August 2013 I was not quite happy with the salary and informed the CEO of the division of this fact. The CEO wrote me an email, into which the payroll manager and talent manager were CC'ed. This is the email:

Andy Duckworth <*****@******.***>


do mnie, Jasse, Ashley

Szymon just so you know, your offer is fine, I am not concerned with references, I know you are a star and a good guy! We need you here.

I will put your pay up after 3 months to £28k and there are bonuses on completion of sites and on trading performance of your sites. I will review your pay again after a further 3 months.

Jasse please can you take this one on, we have missed you here!

Do you need any help with accommodation for those first two weeks?

I am very much looking forward to you joining.



Am I right in thinking this email is by all means binding?

Am ready to answer any other question you might have and am looking forward to hearing from you again.


Hi Simon, you are indeed correct that you can pursue the amount you were promised. Whether the right to receive an increase was made verbally, in your contract or in an email, the fact is that it is likely to constitute a legally binding agreement. What is important here is to identify the elements of a contract, which are an offer, an acceptance and consideration. What would have happened here is that the employer had offered you the pay increase as per the terms they mentioned and you accepted that offer by going ahead with the job. The consideration is also your act of taking up the job, giving up other opportunities in the process.
So the employer’s refusal to honour that agreement is likely to amount to a breach of contract and it is something which you could consider taking further. In the first instance this should be dealt with internally, such as by raising as grievance with the employer. However, if that is not successful, you do have the option of considering a claim for breach of contract for the money owed. Just be aware though that if you actually started your employment with them in Sept 2013, you will not have 2 years’ service with them at present and that means you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. They could therefore easily dismiss you for trying to challenge this, even if you are right and legally owed the money. So just consider this additional risk before you decide on how to proceed.
If you did want to make a claim then you may do this online via
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben,

Once more many thanks indeed for your effort - this confirms my inexpert hunches.

Thanks for warning me that I am not protected against unfair dismissal. The reason why I waited so long before I dared to breach this subject was precisely the fear of dismissal - but now I have pretty much made the decision to leave the company anyway and so am not afraid of any consequences of this sort any more.

Just the final last question. I am not British and so I am not terribly well familiar with the British legal system. Assuming that my employer remains deaf to my argumentation how high are the chances of my winning a litigation against them in a court? It's quite a lot of money and I am not going to give up on it just like that.

Also today in response to my queries I received a letter stating my salary is finally increased to 28k starting with May 2015, but I haven't signed that letter yet.

If I do can it be later used by them as proof that I relinquish any claims to the outstanding salary?

Thanks again for your advice-I will give you maximum rating!:)

Giving you prospects of success is impossible I’m afraid – there are many factors that can affect the outcome of a claim, the evidence, the defence provided by the other party, how you come across, what the judge feels, etc. Even the strongest cases will carry a degree of risk. But the good news is that if the claim is under £10k it will go to the small claims court so even if you lose all you will be responsible for is the claim fees and maybe hearing fees, these are just a few hundred usually – you do not have to pay the other side’s legal costs.
If you do accept your salary as being increased from May 2015 then you may indeed lose your rights to claim for the past amount. However what you could do is accept the increase and state that you are willing to acknowledge the increase but that you dispute it applies from May 15 and that you maintain it should have been applied 3 months after the start of your employment. So you are only accepting part of what they have now offered you – just make clear which part you are not accepting and that is the date from which it applies.
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good evening Ben - just the last question (I have already given you excellent rating),

I understand it is sufficient if I continue to communicate with them via emails? If an offer made via email is considered valid then I guess all other email correspondence is also valid - should we end up in court, which seems more and more likely?



Hi Simon, thanks for your feedback. It is indeed acceptable to communicate via email. In today’s digital world it is entirely acceptable to do so and I have seen plenty of evidence in court which has comprised email correspondence.