The Employment Rights Act of 1996 details the rights and expectations of employees and employers in the United Kingdom. Of particular interest to employees are sections 13 through 16, which detail an employee's rights concerning deductions from their pay by employers as well as payments that must be made to employers.
The "Right Not to Suffer Unauthorized Deductions" states that an employer cannot deduct money from an employee's wages except in very specific circumstances. Unless the deduction is requested by the employee in writing or was included in the employment contract signed by the employee, it cannot be made. The section also defines deductions under law, including deductions resulting from underpayment of owed wages, and makes clear that changes to the employment contract are not retroactive to wages due before the change was made.
"Excepted Deductions" lists exceptions to the rules set forth in Section 13. Deductions from wages are allowed to correct a previous overpayment of wages or work-related expenses, and the rules of Section 13 are excluded from deductions made as part of a disciplinary action by the employer. Employers are allowed to make deductions for third parties if the deduction is part of the employee's contract or otherwise agreed to in writing by the employee, or if the deduction is part of a court order. Deductions made due to the worker being on strike are also excluded from Section 13 rules.
"Right Not to Have to Make Payments to Employer" states that an employer isn't to receive payments from an employee unless those payments are included in the employee's contract or are otherwise agreed upon in writing. Changes in employment contracts to include payments are not retroactive, so employers cannot demand payments from the time before the change took place. The section applies to payments received in the role of employer, not payments received for private debts or purchases.
"Excepted Payments" details the exceptions to the rules set forth in Section 15. The collection of payments by an employer is allowed to correct for an overpayment of wages or expenses, and also if the payments are a result of disciplinary action. The restrictions of Section 15 also do not apply if the payments collected are to fulfil a court order or if they are deemed necessary due to the employee's participation in a strike.
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