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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73901
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I believe I am being discriminated against. My employer has

Customer Question

Hello there, I believe I am being discriminated against. My employer has refused to pay me my wage + accrued leave as per my contract. Wages are 7 days overdue now and they show no desire to pay me any time soon. I have contacted ACAS but I am afraid it will take longer for me to get paid because I currently have no money
JA: Have you discussed this discrimination issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: This discrimination issue is new since I resigned and they are treating me differently from other parties who resigned. I have email conversations proving they are deliberately changing facts in order not to pay me my dues I haven't talked to a lawyer yet
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I was an employee of theirs, I'm not a union member
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Basically I am owed a whole month salary (now over due by 7 days) + up to 28 days accrued leave (also 7 days overdue). They have shown no sign or willingness to pay me any time soon with complete disregard that I've got bills to pay and family to feed.
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

What reason have they provided for not paying you? Please also tell me how long you worked there for and when you actually resigned?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
My employer has failed to pay me my wages + accrued leave after I resigned from the post last month. I am now out of money after over 7 days beyond the normal pay day.- I resigned from the position on 2nd of May, leaving 4 weeks notice
- They immediately cut me off emails and asked me to return company property
- They have since resorted to substitute my owed due leave days for my notice period, contrary to the contract
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I've worked there for 1 year and 8 months
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

Thank you. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

Just to be clear about discrimination – that only occurs if you are being treated detrimentally due to a protected characteristic. The Equality Act 2010 lists several protected characteristics, which are protected from detrimental treatment. Therefore, if someone is using any of these protected characteristics to treat someone detrimentally, that will likely amount to unlawful discrimination. They are:

- age

- disability

- gender reassignment

- marriage and civil partnership

- pregnancy and maternity

- race

- religion or belief

- sex

- sexual orientation

If none of the above apply, there is no discrimination, it is just unfair treatment.

Still, if you are not being paid what you are due, the employer’s actions will most likely amount to an unlawful deduction of wages, which is dealt with under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Deductions of wages occur when an employer either makes actual deductions from an employee’s pay, or they stop their pay altogether. Under law, an employer can only do these 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 (no prior consent is needed, but at the same time they should discuss how this may affect the employee, considering any outgoings they have to meet)

- If the contract specifically allows for the deductions to be made

- If the employee has given their explicit written consent, such as in a separate written agreement

If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be treated as being unlawful. To take the matter further, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that their actions are treated as unlawful deduction from wages and/or breach of contract and request that they repay the amount in question within 7 days. State that if they fail to do so, legal proceedings could follow to recover what has been unlawfully deducted.

If the employer does not return the money as requested, the following options are available to take things further:

1. Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the last of 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 next steps to initiate this procedure are to contact them, either online by filling in the following form (https://tell.acas.org.uk/find-a-solution-to-your-employment-dispute), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years. It is therefore a useful alternative if the 3-month deadline for the Employment Tribunal has been missed. Also, there is no need to negotiate before starting a claim and the claim can also be made online by going to: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

Ideally, by warning the employer that their actions are unlawful and that legal action is considered, they will be prompted to try and resolve this and return the money with the need to take things further.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.