FAQs on wages

What laws apply to the payment of wages?

Wages are the amount of money paid to an employee in exchange for the work they have performed. Under UK law, an employee must be paid regularly for their work in accordance with the terms of their contract of employment. Employees are entitled to receive the national minimum wage.

What is the national minimum wage?

The national minimum wage is the minimum amount of pay to which an employee is entitled to be paid in a certain role. The national minimum wage varies depending on the age of the employee, the nature of their employment, the type of work performed and the industry. The government regularly revises these levels of pay to ensure they are appropriate and keeping up with inflation.

What other payments are employees entitled to?

Employees may also be entitled to other benefits, such as sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave and compassionate leave. However, not all employees are entitled to these benefits. Your employment contract should set out your entitlements. If it does not you should ask your employer for a copy of the working conditions applying to your role. An employment lawyer can advise on your entitlements in the event of a dispute.

How are wage disputes resolved?

If you are not being paid the national minimum wage, or if your employer is withholding your pay or making unauthorised deductions, you may be able to take legal action. You should initially try to resolve the dispute directly with your employer. However, if you cannot resolve the dispute by negotiation you may refer the dispute to the Pay and Work Rights Helpline or the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).

Can you sue for wage disputes?

If your wage dispute still remains unresolved you may be able to take legal action through the civil courts or through the Employment Tribunal. You should seek the advice of an employment lawyer before taking legal action.

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