Unpaid Wage Claims

Key rights

All employees are entitled to individual written pay statements/slips before or at the time they are paid, and if this doesn’t happen, an unpaid wage claim may be a relevant route for you to take.

The amount of pay you receive will depend on what has been agreed in your contract (whether it is written or oral) but most workers cannot be paid less than the National Minimum Wage (if you are under 25) and National Living Wage (if you are over 25). This includes pieceworkers, home workers, agency workers, commission workers, part-time workers and zero-hours workers

Failure to pay you correctly will be a fundamental breach of your contract.

Employers cannot make deductions from your pay unless:

  • the type of deduction has been authorised by law (e.g. deductions for tax) OR
  • you agreed to the deduction in a written contract OR
  • you consented in writing before the deduction was made.

There are extra protections for workers in shops that make it illegal for an employer to deduct more than 10 per cent from any payment of wages (except the final payment if your employment is ending) if the deduction is made because of cash shortages or stock deficiencies.

Most expenses incurred carrying out your job (e.g. travel and accommodation to attend a compulsory meeting or training event) should be reimbursed by your employer.

Working time

The minimum hourly rates of pay required under the National Minimum and Living Wage rules apply to all the time you spend at your workplace under the direction of your employer (Working Time).

Working time does not include your breaks. It does not include the journey to and from your place of work unless you are a mobile worker whose base is their home. It does include:

  • time when you are ‘on call’ at your employer’s premises, but not working
  • overtime
  • training time in the workplace
  • nightwork, even where your job includes sleeping e.g. care workers
  • travelling to clients
  • working lunches.

Wages claims

Unpaid wage claims are brought in in the Employment Tribunal (and if it is contractual wages, in the civil courts).

Strict time-limits apply to both venues.

Our services

Our employment lawyers regularly act for individuals and groups who have not received their correct pay or bonuses, negotiating back payments and where, necessary, taking claims to the tribunal or civil courts.

If think you are owed wages or other money by your employer and want advice on how to raise an unpaid wage claim, you can telephone our employment team direct on 020 7653 3222 or email us enquiries@pattinsonbrewer.co.uk.