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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50160
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Hi, I am a catering manager with a high school for the past

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Hi, I am a catering manager with a high school for the past 6yrs.
We were council run for the first 3yrs then school brought a private firm in on a 3yr contract.
School have not been happy with them and so are not renewing the contract and are taking the catering in house.
We have always been paid fairly and on time but last month we didn't receive our overtime, stating school had not approved it. When I questioned the school manager about this she said she had had an email from them about overtime and replyed that they were responsible for our wages and to pay us as in the past.
I spoke to my manager and he said any overtime would be paid the following month.
I sent the time sheet in for July explaining the overtime due for June and July and even asked school to sign it too.
We did not receive it, as we only have August to be paid now by this firm I was wondering were we stand.
None of us are in the union and there are 3 of us out of 6 who have overtime due.
Thank you for your time in reading this problem.
Yours kindly Deborah Prescott .
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How much are you owed?

Hi Ben, I am owed 25hrs for June and July at time and a quarter about £12.60 per hour. Another lady 22.50hrs at £6.80 also one for 5.25hrs at £6.70.

Ben Jones :

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 for the 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.

Ben Jones :

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


Thank you Ben, that is very helpful. I was going to write to head office for an explanation but I can also quote your advice too. Thanks again Deborah.

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, hope you get it resolved

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