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Employment Law

Unlawful Deduction from Wage Claims

An employer may not make such a deduction unless it is required or authorised by statute, authorised by the contract of employment or the worker has provided written consent to the deduction.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are there any exceptions to this?

    Yes, a deduction is permitted where it is made in respect of:

    • an overpayment of wages;
    • a statutory purpose to a public authority such as unpaid taxes;
    • a contractual obligation to pay a third party such as a union subscription;
    • industrial action; or
    • a court order requiring a payment from the employee to the employer.
  • What happens if an employer makes an unlawful deduction?

    The employee may make a claim to the Employment Tribunal within three months of the deduction, or the least in a series of deductions, but provided there is no break in that series of more than 3 months between deductions. The Tribunal may make a declaration that the employer has made an unlawful deduction and/or order that the employer to pay the sums deducted.

    The Tribunal may however only consider deductions made from wages paid within the previous two years.

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