You can bring a claim for unpaid wages if your employer refuses to pay wages that they are obliged to pay you under your contract. You should check your contract as some deductions are lawful, however if not you may be able to bring a claim for unpaid wages. An unpaid wages claim can be brought if your employer has not paid you wages, holiday pay, sick pay or for late payment of wages.
If your employer routinely underpays you or pays you late, this can amount to a breach of contract. You may have a claim for breach of contract and if you are forced to resign, you may also have a claim for constructive dismissal.
Useful evidence for a successful claim would include wage slips, time sheets and bank statements. You would want to show what your normal pay is and that you have not received it. If your employer has gone insolvent, you will need to prove that you were an employee and you may be able to bring a claim for unpaid wages. You will be classed as a preferential creditor. If there is a shortfall in pay, you can claim from the Government’s National Insurance Fund.
First you should raise the concern with your employer, it’s possible it was an honest mistake. You should raise your concerns informally first and then formally. Be sure to make your complaint in writing and keep copies, this could be used at evidence in unpaid wages claim.
If you have exhausted all options and your employer is still withholding your pay, you should bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal. Before going to the Employment Tribunal, you must first submit a claim with ACAS.
You have three months less one day to bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal. This starts running from the date you have exhausted all options and your employer has confirmed they will not be paying any unpaid wages. If you have run out of time to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal, you can still bring a claim in the Civil Courts for breach of contract. The small claims court can hear claims for up to £10,000 and you have 6 years to bring a claim for unpaid wages.
When bringing a claim for unpaid wages, you can claim for backdated payments for a maximum of up to two years from the date you first complained about unpaid wages.