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  • FIRST POST
    • Andy6666
    • By Andy6666 16th Jul 17, 6:03 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Andy6666
    Work haven't paid me because they've not received references.
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 17, 6:03 PM
    Work haven't paid me because they've not received references. 16th Jul 17 at 6:03 PM
    Hi

    I'd like a bit of help to understand my rights. I work on a casual basis in a Leisure centre. I should have received my first payment into my bank account on Friday 14th June but it's not been paid. I let my manager know who has checked with the payroll department. Apparently they are still waiting for one of my references before they can release payment.

    This is the first I've heard that my employers were still waiting for a reference. There is no problem with my previous employer (employment finished on good terms and I had a good working relationship). All other checks complete - DBS check, reference from another former employer have been fine

    My question which I hope you guys can help with is - Are my employers allowed to withhold payment because they're waiting for a reference?

    I thought if they were waiting for a reference I'd not be allowed to work (understandably as I work with children/vulnerable adults) but withholding pay sounds odd. Also no one has informed me that the reference was outstanding. I've worked there since late May so they've had ample time to raise and problems.

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    Andy
Page 2
    • Leo2020
    • By Leo2020 17th Jul 17, 12:48 PM
    • 886 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    Leo2020
    This makes no sense whatsoever. Council payroll departments do not receive references, they aren't sent copies of them, and they don't care about them one iota. I am confidently certain that the payroll department said no such thing.

    I think what you will find is that your manager (or theirs, depending on where the authority lies) forgot to file the correct authorisations to have you added to the payroll - these days it is usually all computerised. The only job that payroll do is pay you - they couldn't care less whether your references have been received or not.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I had the same issue (different company) and rang the payroll department and that is what they told me - they were not going to pay me as my references had not come back yet. They could not put me on the payroll system until they came back. I said but you told me to start straight away (I started working the next evening after the interview) and shouldn't you have waited for the references before I started work? Same response - we cannot put you on the payroll without a reference.

    It was only a weeks worth of wages and I was no longer working for them. The contract had been TUPE to another company.

    I decided to write a formal email in the hope they would pay up. I said they if refused to pay me then I would have to take further action. They promised to pay me the following Monday. I received nothing again.

    Eventually a reference came to them from a previous employer and they paid up then.

    I get the feeling that if a reference hadn't have come back I would have had to take them to court to see payment.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 17th Jul 17, 12:57 PM
    • 3,112 Posts
    • 2,838 Thanks
    Undervalued
    Erm yes you should ask for a reason in writing and send the letter by recorded delivery. Whether the company give you one or not is not the point. What's is important is that you start a paper trail and show that your doing things properly by given the company the chance to engage in proper discussion.
    Originally posted by john22
    No, you should be asking for what you are entitled to (i.e pay) and have a paper trail to back that up.

    Recorded delivery is unnecessary as long as you have proof of posting. In a civil case the normal assumption is that correctly addressed mail is delivered.
    • stator
    • By stator 17th Jul 17, 3:26 PM
    • 5,815 Posts
    • 3,815 Thanks
    stator
    Obviously the OP has a right to be paid and, if necessary, it would be a fairly simple County Court action to enforce that.

    However, they have no security of employment so they need to think carefully how best to proceed, assuming they think the matter can be resolved and they want to continue working there.

    The is no specific right to "a written explanation as to why you haven't been paid" so there is little to be gained by demanding one.

    If the employers intentions are not good, as opposed to this being just an administrative blunder, then making demands you can't back up simply risks the employer digging their heels in for as long as possible.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    I certainly didn't suggest making any threats of court action or writing a letter before action.
    There's no reason an employee can't write a letter to their employer.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 17th Jul 17, 6:47 PM
    • 3,112 Posts
    • 2,838 Thanks
    Undervalued
    I certainly didn't suggest making any threats of court action or writing a letter before action.
    There's no reason an employee can't write a letter to their employer.
    Originally posted by stator
    Of course.

    However, with less than two years service there is no reason the OP can't be dismissed simply by being given a week's notice.

    So, as I said, he needs to take care before rattling the cage. Obviously he is entitled to be paid for the work done, reference or no reference. However it is important to see whether the employer is "dodgy" or simply making an administrative mess up before deciding how best to proceed.
    • jbond
    • By jbond 17th Jul 17, 7:15 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    jbond
    However, with less than two years service there is no reason the OP can't be dismissed simply by being given a week's notice.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    I was under the impression, that if less than 2 years, then an employer doesn't even need to give a weeks notice, can just get rid, simple as?
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 17th Jul 17, 7:24 PM
    • 3,112 Posts
    • 2,838 Thanks
    Undervalued
    I was under the impression, that if less than 2 years, then an employer doesn't even need to give a weeks notice, can just get rid, simple as?
    Originally posted by jbond
    No.

    In the absence of a contractual agreement for more you are entitled to a week's statutory notice after you have been employed for a month or more. Two year's and more you are entitled to a week for each full year of employment up to a maximum of twelve.

    The only exception would be for cases of gross misconduct when you can be dismissed without notice regardless of length of service.
    • Geoff1963
    • By Geoff1963 19th Jul 17, 12:06 AM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    Geoff1963
    Can the OP get clarification of :
    a) When the references arrive, how soon will they get paid ?
    b) If the references are still outstanding in 1 / 2 / 3 months, would salary still be withheld ?
    c) If the promised reference fails ( e.g. a fatal car crash ) would the OP be given a chance to get another one sorted ? Should they be offered that option now ?

    If the company says they can't pay a salary until the references are sorted, but whatever happens, the OP will definitely get the money eventually ; I'd be asking for an "advance", based on the absolute certainty of eventually receiving the money. Perhaps one of the managers would be happy to personally lend the OP some money, on the strength of this promise which they've made. Working on "a casual basis", suggests only a few hours, on relatively low pay ; so the manager might have that much in their wallet.
    • lisa46
    • By lisa46 19th Jul 17, 12:51 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    lisa46
    Speaking as a payroller, it sounds to me like this might be an unlawful deduction from wages - in this case, the full amount has been deducted.

    As previously suggested, you need to check your contract. This should say when you will normally be paid, even if it is a very basic contract. If it doesn't, ask some of your colleagues when they get paid and whether they had to work a month 'in hand' or are paid in arrears or in advance. If it's not specified in your contract then you can expect the same as everyone else.

    If your employer is not satisfied with your references (including non-receipt as not all companies will give one) they should be asking you for an alternative, not waiting for you to suggest it. At the end of the day, they can probably (again, it depends on the wording in any offer letter and/or contract) fire you, but they will still have to pay you for the time you have worked under the contract. There is no excuse for delay.

    Exactly how you handle it is ultimately up to you, but mentioning the words 'unlawful deduction from wages' can work wonders - it will at least make sure the payroll team thinks carefully about the situation!

    Most of all, bear in mind that most (by my experience) payroll teams are over-worked, and it's quite likely they have taken the reason given to them (probably by HR/Personnel, who deal with contracts, references, etc) at face value without having time to consider the full consequences. Generally, a second call is all it takes.

    Good luck!
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