Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.
Your salary should not be withheld because you have taken dependency leave. Therefore, 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