‘Unlawful deductions from wages’ refers to money taken from worker’s wages by their employer without proper authority. Employees have legal protection against such deductions and may bring a claim in the employment tribunal in respect of any such deductions made from their wages. There are circumstances in which an employer can legitimately make deductions, for example to recover an overpayment of wages or to enforce a court order. Other deductions can normally be made only with the written consent of the employee.

There is also a limit on the amount of money an employer can deduct from a member of staff working in retail which is required to make up cash shortages.

Example: At the end of the month, Sarah discovers that she has not been paid for all the days that she has worked. She queries this with her employer. He replies that he had deducted money to cover unspecified ‘expenses’. This is likely to be an unauthorised deduction from wages.

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Updates: For employers: Pay and pensions | For employees: Breach of contract |
Tagged with: Pay |

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