No Pay on Pay Day!
What would you do if you checked your bank account on pay day and you had not been paid or you have only received a part payment? Some people may understandably panic, the first sensible thing to do is to establish if it is a banking error or whether your employer has failed to pay your wages.
If your employer has failed to pay your wages then here is some guidance and steps you can take. Failure to pay your wages could be a breach of contract and an unlawful deduction from wages. In more serious cases it could even amount to a fundamental breach of contract which would allow you to resign and claim constructive dismissal. However, we would advise anyone in this situation to seek legal advice before resigning.
When you become aware that your pay is wrong, you should contact your employer immediately to find out the reasons for the missing pay. If your employer has made a mistake, ask them to pay you the money straight away.
In case an informal discussion does not resolve the issue then you should raise a grievance using your employer’s grievance procedure or if they do not have one use the acas code of practice: https://www.acas.org.uk/acas-code-of-practice-for-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures/html#grievance:-keys-to-handling-grievances-in-the-workplace
You need to act quickly as you only have 3 months to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal from the date of the breach of contract / failure to pay wages.
After following the grievance procedure and appeal, if the problem with your pay has still not been resolved then you will need to contact the acas early conciliation service https://www.acas.org.uk/early-conciliation. This is a requirement before making a claim to the Employment Tribunal.
At the conclusion of the conciliation period if an agreement has still not been reached then you will need to issue an Employment Tribunal claim https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals/make-a-claim
Failure to pay wages may be a sign of bigger problems for your employer or a sign they are going out of business. Your options at that stage will depend on why your employer has gone out of business. If they’ve just stopped trading, you need to take the steps above and enforce your Employment Tribunal award against them.
If your employer is insolvent then you could be asked to continue to work, transferred to a new employer or made redundancy. Employees who are made redundant can apply to the government for:
- redundancy payment,
- holiday pay,
- outstanding payments like unpaid wages, overtime and commission, and
- money you would have earned working your notice period (‘statutory notice pay’).
You can apply to the Redundancy Payments Service for the payments above and you may still wish to consider making a claim to the Employment Tribunal if you believe you have been unfair dismissed or not properly consulted about the redundancy.
If you need further advice on assistance on recovering your unpaid wages or any employment law issue then please contact our employment team on 01743 248148 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. PCB Solicitors offer a free initial case assessment to help you decide your options.