Owed money from a previous employer?
If you are in the frustrating situation of being owed wages from a previous employer, it will provide some assurance to know there are options available to you. However, there are rare occasions where an employer may choose to withhold unpaid wages with just cause but this is unusual. If you are owed money from a previous employer, action will need to be taken whatever the scenario.
If monies have not been paid to you when they were due, there might be a genuine reason why and these will differ depending on your situation such as if you were self employed or you were on the company’s payroll.
The options for an ex-employee to recover unpaid wages can also vary dependant on the situation. This can work both ways as sometimes Employers need to recover an overpayment of wages paid to former employees.
Employed through Payroll
There are some statutory deductions an employer must take such as National Insurance (NI), Student Loans, pensions and Deductions for a court order (attachment of earnings). There are other things that might mean your wage is less than expected such as unpaid holiday pay, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) & Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
There also maybe terms within your contract of employment to make allowances for the cost of any specialised training provided by a third party or tools etc provided to you.
If you are sure that your previous employer has deliberately withheld monies from you then it is always better to try and contact them directly to address the matter. You should have already received a payslip with will details any appropriate deduction and your previous employer is legally obligated to provide you with such.
Should your previous employer fail to respond to your attempts at engagement then it is appropriate for you to raise a written grievance, detailing your complaint. This should be signed and dated and ideally sent recorded delivery so you has proof that they have received it.
If you need to escalate the matter then you should be able to submit a claim to an employment tribunal. Information regarding this can be found here on the Citizens Advice Website ‘Problems getting paid’ This is ideal for people who have not been paid their wages on time.
Self Employed or Freelancer?
If you worked self employed in the construction industry and your wages are less than you anticipated, one reason may be that your employer has made a deduction against the CIS (Construction Industry Scheme). These deductions count as advance payments towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance. Contractors must register for the scheme whilst Subcontractors don’t have to but face a high rate.
If you have not been paid or have had other deductions taken from your payment then we suggest the following actions:
Establish the facts. Before speaking to the company, it is advisable to check your contract to see what the agreed rate of payment / payments terms were. No work should have been carried out without an agreement and be sure to check all terms within the said contract. This applies to both Self employed and Freelance services provided.
First Choice Solution
Should reasonable dialogue not bear fruit: Whether it is unpaid wages, unpaid overtime or unpaid bonus / unpaid bonuses, being owed money from a previous employer can be a straight forward collection exercise. If it is documented then there is help available to you without the need for expensive legal recourse.
Our friendly New Business Team are able to assist in most instances where the debt is £500+ We are well versed in dealing with such situations and we recover unpaid wages every week on behalf of private individuals just like you.
Call our New Business helpline now for immediate assistance.