You may have heard about a builder in Liverpool having a ‘smashing time’ in a dispute over alleged unpaid wages. The man who was working on the site of a new Travelodge used a digger to destroy the reception area on the day the building was due to be completed, reportedly over £600 he believed he had not been paid.
Whilst this case is pretty extreme, issues (or perceived issues) with wages can often cause employees to feel disgruntled. In some cases, this can lead to grievances being raised or even complaints of unlawful deductions from wages being made to an employment tribunal.
To try to avoid issues arising bear in mind:
- Employees should be paid what they are legally entitled to on time.
If there is a problem, such as a banking glitch, which may mean employees won’t receive their wages when they are due, you should communicate with them regarding the issue as soon as possible. If employees are kept informed about what’s happening this may reduce the likelihood that they will raise it as an issue.
- You need to be careful if you want to deduct money from an employee’s wages as there are only certain circumstances in which this can lawfully be done. These include, for example, where the deduction is required or authorised by statute or an appropriate provision in the employee’s contract or the employee has given their prior written consent to the deduction before the event that gave rise to it occurred.
If you are considering making a deduction from an employee’s wages or you receive a complaint from an employee about their wages, you should contact Kingfisher* for advice on the facts of your case.
*Kingfisher refers to Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd