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UCL Careers Explains…What to do if you have not been paid by an employer

By Skye A Aitken, on 21 January 2020

A woman looking a her laptop screen whilst biting a pencil

Any work that you’ve completed in the UK is subject to National Minimum Wage legislation. You’re therefore entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage unless you fall under a category of worker that is not entitled to the National Minimum Wage –  https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage/who-gets-the-minimum-wage.

If you’ve not been paid, and you are entitled to be, you should reach out to your employer and check what’s happening. If you have details of what you are expecting to be paid in writing then ensure you have those to hand. At this point there may just be an easily resolved misunderstanding. There are a few things that might have happened:

  • You may have joined the organisation after the payroll cut off. Payroll can be weekly or monthly. You would therefore be paid for this work in the next pay run. However, if you are struggling financially your employer may be able to help you so do ask if they could pay you earlier.
  • It’s not payday. If you’re used to weekly pay then you may be surprised to find that many roles in the UK are paid monthly. Or potentially your new employer runs payroll at a different time of the month than you’re used to. Lots of employers will pay their employees at the end of the month.
  • Your employer might have the wrong bank details. Make sure you provided these correctly and on time.

Once you’ve spoken to your employer, you’ll hopefully have resolved the situation. However if this is not the case and you believe your employer is unwilling to pay you or has no intention of paying you in an acceptable timescale then you can seek advice from your local CAB, trade union, law centre or the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).  See further information about not getting paid at https://beta.acas.org.uk/national-minimum-wage-entitlement/what-to-do-if-youre-not-getting-minimum-wage. You may potentially need to go to an Employment Tribunal.  For more details see https://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1366

 

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