If you are experiencing issues with being paid by your employer, the first thing to do is to open up the communication about it. Make sure that before you take any legal action, that you have talked to your employer about it and root out the reason he or she is holding back your pay.
If you and your employer are in disagreement about your pay, or if there is no resolution, then you will have to challenge them so that you can settle the pay dispute. It is vital that this is done within three months from the initial problem, so don’t wait around hoping for your employer to either realize a mistake has been made or hoping that it gets sorted out by itself.
Here are some actionable steps to take if you have spoken with your employer but are in disagreement about the monies owed:
Remember, if you need to seek out extra-legal advice then use the services of an unpaid wages lawyer.
Raise a Grievance
Most companies have a formal grievance procedure. Research your company and make use of this procedure when you want to lodge a formal grievance. If the company you work for does not have a formal grievance procedure, then you are still able to raise one. Simply draft a formal letter detailing the problem. Make sure that attached with the letter are any copies of evidence.
Seek Early Conciliation
Have you tried the grievance but have no result? Then you may have to take your employer to a tribunal. Research in your area for the organization that is in place to provide independent support for issues and disputes between employee and employer. Using an organization such as this will assist you in contacting your employer, and possibly reaching an early conciliation. This early conciliation can help in settling the dispute before it goes to a tribunal.
Reaching a Tribunal
If you have already submitted a formal grievance and attempted to reach an early conciliation with your employer but are still stuck in a stalemate, then it may be time to take your employer to a tribunal. Just remember, if you do not have legal assistance, then a tribunal could be stressful and highly challenging. Another factor you need to remember is that there is a time limit on taking your employer to a tribunal as well. You should apply for a tribunal no later than three months minus one day since the day of the disputed payment. Before you apply for a tribunal, you should have already proceeded through the early conciliation process, and you need to have the early conciliation certificate when you apply for a tribunal.
As you can see, timing is of the essence. Most employees are unaware of this time constraint, which could damage the chances of a dispute resulting in their favor. Always treat issues such as these as time sensitive and seek out legal advice so that you can proceed with a proper understanding of the situation.