If you lose your job you have certain rights and entitlements including the right to be paid for work you have done. If you have not been paid by the date of dismissal or if you are still owed some wages, you have a legal entitlement to be paid for your work. The non-payment of your wages is a deduction from your pay by your employer – see 'Deductions from pay' below.
On the day your employment ends, that is the date of dismissal, there are certain things your employer should give you. They include the following:
The Payment of Wages Act 1991 regulates how your employer pays you, establishes your right to a payslip and states what legal deductions your employer can make from your pay.
Under Section 5 of the Act it is illegal for an employer to make a deduction from an employee’s wages unless the deduction is:
If you have left work and you have not been paid or if your pay is less than the amount due to you, this is an unlawful deduction under the Payment of Wages Act. The only exception to this is where the non-payment or missing amount is due to a mistake in calculating your pay.
So if you have lost your job but your employer has not paid the wages due to you, you can apply for compensation by making a complaint under the Payment of Wages Act 1991.
To make a complaint about this non-payment of wages, you apply using the new online complaint form (available by selecting ‘Make a complaint in relation to employment rights’ on workplacerelations.ie). You must make a complaint within 6 months of the date of the deduction which is the date your wages were due to be paid. The time limit may be extended for up to a further 6 months, but only where there are exceptional circumstances which prevented the complaint being brought within the normal time limit.
Further information is available in this explanatory booklet on the Payment of Wages Act 1991 (pdf) or from Workplace Relations Customer Services - see 'Where to apply' below.
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.