Wages and Hours of Work

What are your rights on Pay and working conditions?

Wages and Hours of work

  • Can my employer make deductions to my pay?
  • Hours of work?
  • How do I calculate my average hours?
  • What are my rights working nightshift?
  • What is the national minimum wage?

Wages Rights

Can my employer make deductions to my pay?

Your employer can make certain kinds of legal deductions from your pay packet. These are:

· Deductions for income tax and National Insurance;

· Where you have given permission to contribute to a charity, a workplace social club or pay your union membership fees.

· Where there is a provision in your contract or you have been given written notice of your employer’s intentions and have agreed.

· If your contract includes a provision for a disciplinary penalty, your employer can make deductions without consultation.

If your employer has accidentally overpaid you, they can reclaim that money without consultation. The deduction will not be an unlawful deduction from wages under the Employment Rights Act. However, there are certain circumstances when an employee can challenge an employer’s decision to deduct monies for an overpayment in the County Court.

Specific rules apply to employees in retail employment where there are stock or cash shortages. An employer must notify the employee of the amount of any cash or stock shortage and the amount they are going to deduct from a pay packet before they make a deduction from an employee’s wages. The deduction must not exceed 10%of your wage at any one time. If the amount that they are seeking to reclaim is greater than 10%, then the employer can deduct from consecutive pay packets over a 12-month period. There is no limit on the deduction from a final pay packet.

Hours of work

If you are over 18 years of age you have seven basic statutory rights relating to your hours of work under the Working Time Regulations.

1) 4.8 weeks paid holiday a year which may include bank holidays;

2) a break when working six hours or longer;

3) an 11 hour rest period every working day;

4) a 24 hour rest period every seven days;

5) a maximum of an average 48 hour working week;

6) a maximum of an average 8 hours night work every 24 hours;

7) free health assessment for all night shift workers.

Unfortunately, the Working Time Regulations contain certain exclusions applying to particular situations and groups of workers. There are also specific rules for workers who are under 18 years of age. To find out how these rights apply to you, speak to your local union representatives or contact the Member Service Centre.

How do I calculate my average hours?

The maximum 48 hour week is an average, so if you worked 50 hours one week if you worked less than 46 hours the next week, you would not breach the 48 hour average.

To calculate the average, you add all the hours worked in the previous 17 weeks and divide by 17.

So having worked 680 hours in the past 17 weeks would yield an average of a 40 hour week.

But working 833 hours in a 17 week period yields an average 49 hour week.

Periods of leave or illness do not count towards the averaging period. Simply begin counting earlier to make up any days spent off work.

How do I calculate my average hours?

Under the Working Time Regulations workers over 18 have a right not to work more than an average of 48 hours a week over a 17-week reference period. To calculate the average, you add all the hours worked in the previous 17 weeks and divide by 17.

Periods of leave or illness do not count towards the averaging period. Simply begin counting earlier to make up any days spent off work.

Some employers have workforce agreements where workers agree to opt out of this requirement.

What are my rights working night shift?

A night shift is any work of three hours or more between the hours of 11p.m. and 6 a.m. although this can be varied by contractual agreement between employer and employee.

Workers should not work more than an average of 8 hours night shift in every 24 and should receive a free health check.

What is the current national minimum wage?

On 1st October 2012 the national minimum wage was increased to £6.08 for workers aged 21 or over

The 18-20 year old rate is currently £4.98

The rate for 16-17 year olds for workers above school leaving age but below 18 is currently £3.68

The apprentice rate is currently £2.65

With a few exceptions, all workers inthe UK aged 16 or over are legally entitled to be paid a minimum amount per hour. This is regardless of the kind of work they do or the size and type of company. The rate is reviewed every year, and any increases take place in October.