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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Hi, My employer has brought in a scheme, without notice

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My employer has brought in a scheme, without notice or consultation, which states that if we get warranty claims from our customers, that upon investigation, the claim is a result of staff members error, that staff member will have his / her wages docked.
Our wages are made up of a fixed salary plus an allowance for our skills grading.
The employer says they are allowed to deduct wages from the allowance as it is an addition to our basic pay.
There is a paragraph in our contract of employment that states:

Where monies are owed to the company, including (but not limited to) such items as outstanding personal telephone call bills, outstanding car mileage, fines for traffic offences, agreed recovery of training costs and overpayments of salary, the company will make an equivalent deduction from your salary payment.

There is nothing else in the contract that says they can deduct any wages for staff errors. The contract states that we are entitled to the additional skills payment.

I have read through sections 13 and 14 of the employment act (deductions from wages), which seems to suggest that this new scheme is unlawful, on the grounds that no deductions are allowed from either our salary or the additional payment as it refers to "total wages", and that no "relevant provision" for these deductions are in the contract of employment. We have not signed any document that has authorised these deductions, and as the employer has back dated this scheme this is also a no no.

Is my employer acting outside the employment law, or does the paragraph in the contract allow them to do this.

Thankyou in anticipation.

D Bell.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

PS: I am travelling at present and won't be able to provide full answer until later tis evening if that's ok

JACUSTOMER-s24nsy8b- :

Hi Ben.

JACUSTOMER-s24nsy8b- :

I have worked for the current owners for almost three years. The company was taken over by the current owners almost three years ago. previous to this I worked for this company since 1992, however, when we were taken over we were given new contracts and there was no continuation of service. Please answer when you have time. Thankyou

Ben Jones :

ok thanks I will respond in due course this evening

JACUSTOMER-s24nsy8b- :

Many thanks. Do I need to reply to you straight away or can I come back to you (if I need to) perhaps tomorrow? I have not used this service before.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome to get back to me any time, even if it's tomorrow, I should be on most of the day anyway

JACUSTOMER-s24nsy8b- :

Ok, thats great. Safe journey.

Ben Jones :

Thank you

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. Your interpretation of the law is correct and the employer’s actions are likely to amount to an unlawful deduction from wages.


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 for the deductions to be made.


Because this could have serious impact on an employee and affects one of the most important rights under their contract (the right to be paid), any written contractual provision must be clear and unambiguous and the employee must have been made aware of it. Looking at the wording of the contract which allows certain deductions, there is nothing ti suggest that staff errors would be included in this.


If they try to introduce this as a new condition to your contract then you may challenge this. You should make it clear that you do not accept the changes and are working under protest, which means you feel forced to do so at present. If they go on to make deductions in the future then these could be challenged as deductions of wages, either in the employment tribunal or the county court.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?


Hello again. Many thanks for your prompt reply. I had an idea that what they are doing was unlawful, but didnt want to "rock the boat" without checking the facts. Your service and help in this matter has been very much appreciated. I shall rate as excellent service. Thanks again. Regards XXXXX

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:

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