Western Morning News

Workers’ rights on delayed wages


MY employer regularly withholds or delays my pay. This makes paying my bills really difficult, and it is not always clear what I am being paid for. What are my rights?

The way that an employee’s wages are paid will depend solely on what their contract of employment says.

If you do not have a written contract, you still have a contract of employment, but it will be a verbal one. Where there is a verbal contract rather than a written contract, the way wages should be paid should have been agreed between the employer and employee, or if not, it will depend on how the employer usually pays the wages of the employees in that workplace.

All employees who have worked for their employer for at least two months are entitled by law to a ‘written statement of their terms and conditions of employment’.

The employee’s contract should give the following details about their wages:

when wages are paid, for example, at the end of the week, at the end of the month

whether wages are paid in advance or arrears. With monthly pay, it is common to be paid partly in advance and partly in arrears. With weekly pay, it is usual to be paid in arrears, that is, wages are paid after the work has been done

if wages are paid a week in hand. Sometimes if an employee is paid weekly, they have to work for two weeks before they receive any pay. This means that they are always, effectivel­y, being paid a week in arrears and are owed a week’s pay throughout their employment. This week in hand payment will be made when the employee leaves the job.

All employees are entitled to an individual written payslip, at or before the time they are paid. A written payslip could also be a payslip sent by email. The payslip must show:

gross pay, that is, pay before any tax or national insurance has been taken off

the amounts of any deductions which change from week to week, for example tax and national insurance, and what the deductions are for

the total amount of any fixed deductions. These are deductions which do not change from week to week, for example, union dues. An employer does not have to give details of what these deductions are for as long as they give a separate statement with these details at least once a year

the total amount of take-home pay after deductions.

For details and advice about pay and entitlemen­ts, go to www. citizensad­vice.org.uk

The informatio­n in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Devon, Citizens Advice Cornwall and The Western Morning News accept no liability for informatio­n published. Citizens Advice Devon is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For most up-to-date informatio­n, visit www.citizensad­vice.org.uk

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