Our employment team tackle the tricky subject...
Recently, the issue of deduction from wages of employees has come to the forefront again as Costa employees in Essex have complained that a sum of £200 was deducted from their final payslip to cover their training.
Generally, your employer does have the right to deduct from you wages money that is owing to the company - provided that there is a clause in your contract that states as much, which is often the case. However, this is not a free-for-all right for the employer to deduct money from your wages for anything they see fit and they will often be required to notify you in advance of the same.
For example, an employer could deduct from your final payslip money if you have taken more annual leave than you were entitled to, as at the date of the termination of your employment. This does not mean that they will be able to deduct from you money for use of the coffee machine that is in the kitchen (if there is one, and if you have not agreed to the deduction).
Some employers may seek to deduct from your pay wages that were paid to you if, for instance, you were late for work regularly and without notice. This is more common for employees that receive their salary on an hourly basis. Other employers may wish to deduct from their employees missing funds from the cash registers. This may be allowed, but it very much depends on the company's policies and terms of the contract as it is not an absolute right that the employer will have. If you are not sure if your employer is entitled to do that, we can review your contract and terms and help you understand this.
Certainly, your employer will need to let you know before make any deductions that are not for Income Tax or National Insurance Contributions.
We strongly recommend that you review the company's policies and contract relating to anything to do with your pay before signing it. We are happy to advise you ahead of time if required. We can also assist if you think that your employer is deducting money from your wages unfairly or unlawfully, so please do not hesitate to contact us on 01245 228141