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Employer not paying back pay

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Hello, I'm new here after finding your forum whilst looking for help with a problem.


My husband works full time at a factory and at the beginning of this year moved into a more responsible role which involved moving to a tree shift rotation (£1 per hour extra paid immediately) and upon completion of training a substantial pay increase.


Two other men were also moved into the same role a month before him and he presumed that they were on the same pay.


Three months later he passed his test and was told that he would be fully made up and would get his pay rise on the next pay day (monthly pay). Payday arrived and no pay increase but was fobbed off that he would be paid the money owed in the following months wage.


Come the next payday there was no increase OR backpay so went up to the office to find out why and after being fobbed off a couple of days later was told that there was no pay rise and that even though he had now been doing the job for 5 months that he was never officially moved into it.


As you can imagine he was furious and more so after talking to the two others in his role to find out if they had their rise and finding out that they had had it from day one even though they were on training for the tree months too.


At this point he went to see his union rep and eventually after a few weeks he was offered a change in contract with the pay rise but only partial back pay. He wanted to fight for full reimbursement but took his reps view that the workplace has unofficial exit lists and that he would probably end up shortly looking for work again.


Now he has a letter confirming everything and this Friday was expecting a substantial pay packet, but lo and behold, no rise or back pay. :mad2: This was after a night shift so he sent a text direct to a member of the office staff that deals with it. After getting up he had no reply so called and just got through to voice mail then he called the next person down the ladder only to be told they were aware of it and their boss was angry at my oh for texting them! Also that there was nothing to be done until the physical pay slips come in on Monday:-x


I am now at a loss with what to do, my oh is sick and tired of the situation and furious. He wants to demand that they pay him from petty cash or write him a cheque if that is insufficient but I don't know of his rights.


This is causing us some problems as my son and his family live a long way off and we are visiting them next weekend and the plan was to take all of their Christmas present round then as we may not be able to afford the trip again until well into the new year. Now if he doesn't get the money owed to him we won't be able to do it without borrowing cash. Wouldn't be so bad but we had a very expensive repair bill a couple of weeks ago which we went ahead with because we were expecting extra money coming in as we had it in black and white.


Any help or advice will be very gratefully recieved.

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The unfortunate answer is that you won't be able to do much without your OH making himself extremely unpopular, and whilst there is a degree of legal protection (he cannot suffer a detriment for asserting a legal right), we all know how easy it can be for an employer to find reasons to 'manage an employee out of the business'


As for the legal position, providing that there is a contract or agreement which agrees to pay a specific rate for a specific role, then the employer is guilty of making an unlawful deduction from wages contrary to S.13 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Your OH could put in a written demand to be paid the amount due to him within X days or he will consider taking action either through an Employment Tribunal for the Unlawful Deduction, or the County Court for a breach of contract.


But, protocol dictates that he should give a reasonable period of time after issuing the demand - normally 7 or 14 days so this would not necessarily get the money any more quickly, and if they were to dig their heels in, you could be waiting months - added to which there is a cost involved in taking action - to see any money. Sadly you cannot simply demand the money here and now, although if you were to plead hardship this might hurry things along out of compassion. You also cannot demand to be paid the same rate as other people , unfair as it undoubtedly is.


Just beware that unless there is at least two years length of service the employer might well decide to find a reason to get rid of your OH, and even if he has served longer that this employers tend to not like troublemakers, however right your OH may be. A formal grievance might well be the most appropriate course of action, outlining the unfairness of promising an enhanced rate of pay from X date (and paying others the extra from day one) but this later being denied, together with the repeated non-payment of the pay rise. Put the grievance in to the head of HR, or to an appropriate senior manager or director.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!


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If the people who have had the pay increase are of a different gender, racial origin or sexual orientation there will be fiarly straightforward grounds for a demand of equal treatment but if not then it is more subtle.

Are the pay scales for various jobs published or are people given individually negotiated contracts? if the former it should be fairly easy to prod them into paying the same as the others but this should be done in writing to the correct person adn then take it further if no formal response is forthcoming in a reasonable time

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