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lawsolved, Attorney
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 3244
Experience:  Immigration, Employment and general Commercial law experience
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Can my employer deduct anything from my wages without my consent

Resolved Question:

I am on my redundancy notice period and my employer has just infomed me he will deduct £150 from my wages. the amount is what he added extra a month ago, what is a share from my colleague's commission. she left before the commission was paid, so my manager decided he would divide her commission among 3 other employees, however he didn't ask us about it or even informed us (if he did, we would have said no, as the commission belonged to the colleague, as per contract). So anyway, he paid us the commission of the ex-colleague and when she started asking for it back, now he wants to deduct it from us, as he is scared of being sued by the ex-employee. Can he legally deduct the money from me?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  lawsolved replied 8 years ago.

An employer may not make deductions from an employee's wage, unless the following conditions are satisfied:

The deduction is required or authorised by a term in the employee's contract of employment.
The deduction is of a reasonable and fair amount having regard to all circumstances, including the amount of the wages.
Prior to the act or omission or the provision of the goods or services, the employee has been given a copy of the contract containing the term, if it is a written contract, or in any other case written notice of the existence and effect of the term.
Regarding acts or omissions, an employee must be given written particulars of the proposed deduction and the reason for it, at least one week prior to the making of the deduction.
Regarding a deduction for an employer's compensation for loss or damage in respect of an act or omission by an employee, the deduction must not exceed the amount of the loss or the cost of the damage.
Regarding a deduction in respect of the provision of goods or services, the deduction must not exceed the cost to the employer of the goods or services.
A deduction must take place within six months of the act or omission or of the provision of the goods or services. Where there are likely to be a series of deductions arising out of the same incident, the first deduction must be made not later than 6 months after the provision of the goods or services, or the act or omission becomes known to the employer.
An employer may only receive a payment in place of a deduction if the payment also satisfies the above conditions. Where an employer receives a payment instead of a deduction, he/she must immediately issue a receipt to the employee.

So iut does appear that if your employer gives you at least a week's written notice of the proposed deduction and citing the reasons for it, he may do it.

Hope this helps

Good luck

Expert:  lawsolved replied 8 years ago.

Do you have a further query?

Thank you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for the response. I do have some questions though. I want to tell my manager that I do not agree to that deduction and my question is is there anything I can hold on to doing that? the company does not have the HR dept. and his knowledge of employment law is also not really extensive, so any small things will help. Here is what I wanted to include in my reply:
- it is not income tax, NI or a loan from the company
- the employment contract does not make specific provision for that kind of deduction*
- neither you or myself have agreed in writing to the deduction
- I spent the money in the valid belief that I was entitled to it.
- recovering the amount will leave me in financial difficulty, as I still remain unemployed and on my notice period which is about to end
- it is also not an overpayment made as a mistake,as you have voluntarily decided to pay the extra amount
- he never said anything about how the commissions were calculated, and as an employee I didn't have any reasons to check whether your calculations were right or wrong.The amount added extra was not dictinctive to me considering the whole amount I was paid that week and I was absolutely convinced this is what we would normally get.

do you think that would be enough to decline the deduction?
Expert:  lawsolved replied 8 years ago.

All that you say is fine. You could also add in a line at the beginning of your letter that you do not believe that the £150 will be a lawful deduction from your wages under the Employment Rights Act 1996 due to the reasons you set out and that you reserve your right to bring an Employment Tribunal claim if he makes the deduction.

Hope this helps

lawsolved and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It absolutely does help. Hope it will stop my employer (almost ex-employer) from the deduction.

Many thanks