What counts as authorised deductions?In some cases, your employer can take money out of your pay. These are known as ‘authorised deductions’. Usually, your employer is legally obliged to make these deductions.
If you’re unsure why money has been deducted, the best thing to do is talk to your employer to find out why. It could be a genuine mistake, or they may have a good or authorised reason.
Authorised deductions include:
Student loan repayment
Court order debts
Money you owe
What are unauthorised deductions?Unauthorised deductions, as the name suggests, are deductions from your salary or wage that your employer has absolutely no right to make. If you’ve worked for it and it isn’t authorised, it’s against the law for an employer to withhold or deduct your pay.
Talk to your employer immediately if this has happened.
Excluding authorised deductions, an unauthorised deduction occurs when:
- It’s not mandated by law
- It isn’t in your contract
- You didn’t agree to it in writing
What should I do if deductions have been made?Always raise the matter with your employer when a deduction has been made. They’ll be able to explain why pay is missing, or if the payroll department has made an error, they’ll be able to rectify the mistake.
If you disagree with a deduction, you might want to make an unpaid wages claim. In the legal world, ‘wages’ usually count as:
- Your basic salary or wage
- Holiday pay
- Statutory sick pay
- Statutory parental pay
- Redundancy pay, notice pay, and pay in lieu of notice
- Any money your employer owes you
You can’t just take your employer to an employment tribunal. The process, instead, sees you inform the independent body for employees and employers, ACAS.
The organisation will then ask you and your employer to attend early conciliation, to see if a legally binding agreement can be mediated between both parties. If the talks break down, you’ll then receive a certificate permitting you to take the case to a tribunal.
However, if you’re seriously considering making a claim for unpaid wages, it’s worth first discussing the issue with an employment solicitor. They’ll advise on whether you have the right to make a claim, and how best to do it.
Tribunals can be stressful, confusing, and take up a lot of time, so you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared – a solicitor will help you make a success of your claim.
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