Can an Employer Withhold your Salary?

When it comes to the payment of salaries to employees there is often still a sense of master and slave regularly experienced by employees during the Victorian era. During this period an employer would frequently withhold an employee’s wages and in some cases never pay them at all. Whilst cases like this are few and far between there is often a subconscious fear amongst employees that the employer may withhold some or all of an employee’s wages.

The fact is that in very few cases can an employer withhold an employee’s salary from them. As long as the employee has given notice correctly and fulfilled the obligations that they said they would in their employment contract. It is illegal for an employer to do the following;

  • Pay an employee late
  • Not to pay an employee what the employer has agreed to pay the employee
  • To not pay the employee any wages at all (frequently called 100% wage deduction)
  • To not have paid the employee holiday pay
  • Not have paid the employee agreed bonuses

These are only a few of the ways that an employer may have breached the law.

Employment solicitors will be up to date with the very latest aspects of salary payments to employees and their advice should be sought if an employer has withheld wages from an employee. They are aware that there are some circumstances when a salary can be withheld from an employee and before any litigation is brought against an employer for withholding of wage payments employees should be aware of these instances when salary or wage may be withheld by employers.

In some cases salary can have deductions made from it some of which have been listed below;

  • Tax and National Insurance deductions
  • Court order deductions
  • Deductions that you have contractually agreed with the employer

In the retail sector there are some other instances when salary can be withheld by an employer some of which are as follows;

  • If the employer discovers a shortage of stock
  • Or if the till has a cash shortage that can be attributed to the employee

For the employer to withhold wages from the employee in these circumstances then the employer must put the reasons why salary is being withheld. Employees and employers alike are best advised to seek legal counsel if they think that they fall into this category. The expert help of employment solicitors can give reassurance of any action being legally binding and sound before action is taken.

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