I’m an employment lawyer – here’s exactly what to do if your pay is wrong

WORKERS are feeling a squeeze on their wages, as pay packets fail to keep up with soaring inflation – but what do you do if your wages are wrong?

With deductions for pension contributions and various tax changes in recent months, it can sometimes be difficult to work out if your pay slip is correct.

Employment lawyer Stephen Moore has shared what you should do if your pay is wrong


Employment lawyer Stephen Moore has shared what you should do if your pay is wrongCredit: Alamy

Just last week, thousands of employees at Asda were left more than £500 out of pocket following a payroll error.

Mistakes can easily occur if your salary has changed, you’ve got a bonus, or you’ve moved jobs.

And while errors are not uncommon – it’s important you keep an eye on your salary to make sure you flag any problems as soon as possible.

Stephen Moor, head of employment at law firm Ashfords, said you should make sure you know what your rights are if you spot your pay is wrong – here’s what to do:

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Your rights if you are paid incorrectly

Any deductions from wages – whether it’s for pension contributions gym membership or missed hours – must have the employee’s consent.

This could be given when you sign the employment contract, or through a written agreement between the employee and their boss.

Stephen said: “For any lawful deduction, the employee must expressly agree in writing to the deduction.

“If not, this is where disputes can arise.”

If you didn’t agree to a deduction, then you could raise a claim at an employment tribunal.

Stephen said this could be for unlawful deduction of wages, or in the county court, for breach of contract.

If you are successful in court, you could be entitled to receive the value of the deduction.

But before you do this, raise your concerns with your boss.

Stephen said this can be done informally through a chat, or formally via a proper grievance process.  

If you’re going down the legal route, workers have three months and one day to raise a claim at an employment tribunal.

But in the county court, there is a longer period of six years to bring a claim.

Your rights if your boss fails to pay you

If your employer repeatedly fails to pay your wages, you could claim there has been a fundamental breach of their employment contract.

Stephen said: “If this happens, you could resign and claim constructive dismissal in the employment tribunal and seek compensation.”

As with an unlawful deduction of wages, you could also raise a claim in court.

If your claim is successful, you could be entitled to the value of your missed wages.

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Here’s how you can find out what your rights are if you are on a zero hours contract.

We have also explained how you could be entitled to two years’ worth of holiday pay from your employer.


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