How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jenny McKenzie Your Own Question
Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie,
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6339
Experience:  10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR
Type Your UK Employment Law Question Here...
Jenny McKenzie is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi Jenny, I have another question for you :) I work in

This answer was rated:

Hi Jenny,
I have another question for you :)

I work in inside sales for the Italian territory from the Egham (UK) office of my employer. Italian economy is struggling, so a lot of my clients are delayed in the payment of invoices.

In particular one of them has not paid for more than 120 days (my company terms are 30 days), so my company decided to collect the money through an external provider ("debt collector").

Now my client is still not paying, so its account will be taken down in a month time; in this case, I will have to give back the commissions I earned at the time of the sale.

The question I am asking you is: my company should sue my client in order to collect the money, and only then ask for my commissions if not successful, right?

I feel it is unfair that my employer asks the commissions back without trying everything to collect the money (including suing the client).

Thanks in advance for your reply
Hello again, can you tell me whether your employer has a commissions policy?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes, it has a commission policy

Does this state at what point the commission will be recovered and if so is the employer acting in line with the policy?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is unclear... the policy states: "[My company] retains the right to recover commissions paid to sales associates on business subsequently determined to be fraudulent or uncollectable" and "Commissions and bonus that were earned for business that cancels prior to the end date of the contract and/or is not paid for by the client will be recovered. Credit will be applied to the Sales Executive for the amount of cash [my company] has received from the client".


On the process of money recovery from the client, the policy states:" The legal recovery and collection attempts may continue until all efforts have been exhausted"...

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX know if the employer consistently applies this policy to its staff?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My employer is applying the policy consistently to employees, but not to clients: actually, as I said before, if the debt collector doesn't recover anything, my employer usually won't continue the collection process

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX if your employer recovers your commission on these jobs will you receive at least the minimum wage in respect of your basic pay. (I assume you will but just want to clarify the point).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes, I will continue to earn my basic salary if I remain in a Sales role in the company.


If I move to a non-commission based role within the company, they will recover the commissions from the basic salary

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX no law which would prevent the employer from recovering the commissions in these circumstances and, in fact, in sales roles it is not uncommon for this to be the case.

You do have a cause to complain that they are not following their procedure by failing to attempt to recover through the court system, the outstanding commissions but this would not make the deductions themselves unlawful, so long as their is a clause in your contract which entitles them to deduct the money in this way.

There is nothing to prevent you from raising a grievance that they are not attempting to recover the money but ultimately as I have said it is not unlawful and is common practice in the Sales market for this to be the policy there is little you can do if the employer refuses to take further action to recover unfortunately.

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Jenny; if I understood correctly, they are unlawful only if there's no clause in my contract which entitles them to deduct the money, right?

Yes that's right, unless there is a clause in your contract which you have signed that agrees to deductions from salary then the employer can only deduct with your consent.

In most contracts there will be such a clause.

If there is one then it is normal practice and is not unlawful.

You can raise a grievance about the fact that the policy suggests that they will take action to recover the money, including court action but they are failing to do so.

Hope that clears it up for you. Please remember to rate my answer as I am not otherwise credited for my time. Many thanks.
Jenny McKenzie and other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you