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Employment for Individuals

Pay & Benefits

Susie Al-Qassab
Susie Al‑Qassab
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Natalie Wellock
Ellen Clabburn
Ellen Clabburn

Issues surrounding your pay can have a significant impact on you and your family, therefore it’s essential you understand your rights.

If you’re an employee or a worker but, not self-employed, you have a number of statutory rights in relation to pay, including the right to holiday pay and national minimum wage.

You’ll also have contractual rights in relation to your pay.


What are my contractual rights?

Any contract you have with your employer, whether written or verbal, should make it clear what salary (or commission or bonuses) you’re entitled to receive and when you’ll receive them, plus any arrangements about paid over-time, sick pay, maternity pay and other benefits.

If your employer decides to cut your pay or change your pay date without consulting you, or you think you’ve been underpaid in some way, you may have a claim for unlawful deductions from wages, or breach of contract, or a right to claim constructive dismissal.

Your contract may also provide for other benefits for example – a company car or a car allowance; life assurance; paid overtime; private medical insurance; and a pension. As part of your contract, if your employer changes these terms without your consent, you may also have a claim.

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How can I get legal advice on changes to my pay and benefits?

Contact our expert solicitors

If you think that you have a legal claim against your employer, it’s important to get advice and act quickly, as most Employment Tribunal claims can only be brought within 3 months (less one day) of the underpayment or date a payment was supposed to be made but wasn’t.


You’ll be allocated to the most appropriate lawyer for your matter. Your lawyer will advise you as to whether you have any claims and what next steps you should take.

Funding options

We’ll ensure you’re provided with clear information on costs. You may have the benefit of alternative funding through your legal expenses insurance provider or trade union. If you don’t, we’ll provide you with clear and upfront cost estimates to ensure that you remain in control of your costs at every stage.

“She [Homa Wilson] has a vast knowledge of employment law and is great at finding pragmatic solutions.” Chambers UK, 2021

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What outcomes can I expect?

Ideally, your matter will be resolved internally without the need to litigate, and you’ll receive what you’re owed.

If this isn’t possible, we can assist you with making a claim to the Employment Tribunal (or sometimes the High Court).

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Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen?

Experienced lawyers

Our team of experienced employment lawyers can advise you on your statutory and contractual rights in relation to both pay and benefits.

Tailored strategy

We’ll assess and advise on your statutory and contractual rights and entitlements, alongside your options if there’s been any breach by your employer.

Supportive solicitors

We can help you to resolve issues with your employer e.g. by raising a grievance, or we can assist you with making a claim to the Employment Tribunal. We’ll also clarify the circumstances in which your employer can lawfully make changes to your pay and benefits and make deductions from your wages, which often causes confusion.

“It’s very hard to put into words how thankful I am for your guidance and support through-out the dispute process and of course reaching a good outcome."

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Featured cases

Client successfully received payments which were unlawfully withheld

We successfully engaged with our client’s employer on his behalf to recover his final salary payment, notice pay and accrued holiday pay which was being unlawfully withheld because of alleged but unproven anomalies in his expenses.

Employee’s full bonus paid after employer attempted to hold back

We advised a senior employee who was due a bonus but his employer attempted to hold back and implement new conditions for payment. We successfully disputed this as a breach of contract and he was paid his full bonus on time.

"They made the whole process as painful and stress free as possible. If I didn’t understand anything, they will call me to explain it in a way I fully understand."

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Frequently asked questions

My employer has deducted money from my salary because they say they overpaid me last month. What should I do?

Your employer has the right to claim back money if they’ve overpaid you. They should contact you as soon as they’re aware of the mistake. If you’re still employed, they will deduct this from any future wages.

If the overpayment was a long time ago, or overpayments have been going on for several weeks or months, you may be able to contest the deduction, or at the least, your employer should:

  • Be flexible and fair claiming the money back;
  • Agree a repayment plan with you if needed.

Am I entitled to a minimum wage?

Employees and workers (other than the self-employed) are entitled to receive the national minimum wage, but how much you’re entitled to depends on your age. Also, the rates go up occasionally so always check the up to date position on the government website

Current rates (from April 2020) are:

  • Apprentice = £4.15
  • 16 – 17-year-olds = £4.55 per hour
  • 18 – 20 = £6.45 per hour
  • 21 – 24 = £8.20 per hour
  • 25 + = £8.72 per hour (this is called the National Living Wage)

How much will I receive as a redundancy payment?

If you are an employee and you have worked for your employer for more than 2 years then you have the right to a statutory redundancy payment in addition to your notice (either worked, or paid in lieu).

You should also check your employment contract to confirm whether you have any contractual entitlement to enhanced redundancy pay.

How is statutory redundancy pay calculated?

Statutory redundancy pay is calculated on the basis of your age and how long you have worked for your employer.

Depending on your length of service, you will be entitled to:

  • half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22;
  • one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41;
  • one and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older

The government also have an online calculator –

If you have been placed on ‘furlough leave’ due to the coronavirus pandemic and been earning less than usual as a result, then your redundancy pay will be calculated on what your full normal pay should have been.

If your pay varies each week then your weekly pay will be calculated using the average you earned per week over the 12 weeks before you received your notice of redundancy.

The first £30,000 of redundancy pay (but not pay in lieu of notice) can be paid tax free.

Limits to statutory redundancy pay

Length of service is capped at 20 years and so there is a limit on how much statutory redundancy pay can be paid. This means that, if for example you have worked for your employer for 25 years, you will only be entitled to statutory redundancy pay for 20 of the years that you were employed.

Weekly pay is also subject to a statutory cap which is currently £544 if you were made redundant on or after 6 April 2021.

On this basis, the maximum statutory redundancy payment is £16,320.

The exceptions

You will not be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if your employer offers to keep you employed and/or offers you suitable alternative work which you refuse without a good reason.

If any potentially redundant employees are on maternity (or adoption or shared parental) leave, they have an automatic right to be offered any suitable vacancies as a priority.

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