Deductions from wages

Topic Index
Definition of 'wages'
Excluded deductions
Overpayments of wages and recovery
Retail workers



  • Workers are protected from unauthorised deductions being made from their wages - this includes both employees and the wider definition of workers.
  • Employers can only make deductions from a worker's wages (s. 13 of the Employment Rights Act) if:
    • the deduction is required or authorised by statute, e.g. income tax, national insurance contributions and attachment of earnings orders
    • the deduction is required or authorised by a provision in the worker's contract - the worker must have seen the contractual term in question or must have been individually notified of it in writing before the deduction is made (i.e. retrospective authorisation is not possible)
    • the worker has given their prior written consent to the deduction - the consent must be given before the event giving rise to the deduction and not just before the deduction itself
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