When you are regularly paid late
If your employer is regularly late when paying your wages but you are still employed, then there are procedures you can use to enforce your legal right to be paid according to your terms and conditions of employment.
You are entitled to be paid on time as part of your contract of employment. First, you should try to resolve this dispute about pay with your employer using any internal complaint or grievances procedures that are available. Then, if this does not work, and your employer is still paying you late, you may make a formal complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission. At both stages of these procedures you should use any supports available, for example, a trade union or your local Citizens Information Centre to help you get your legal right to payment on time.
Resolving the dispute with your employer
You should start by asking your employer to pay you on time and to pay any arrears of pay that are due. Your written terms of employment should state when you are paid, for example, weekly or monthly. If there is a complaint or grievance procedure at your work you should use this. The Workplace Relations Commission’s Code of Practice: Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures states that employers should have written grievance and disciplinary procedures and they should give employees copies of these at the start of their employment. If your employer does not have a grievance procedure or if it is not possible to resolve this dispute within your workplace, you may have no other choice but to bring a complaint.
Making a complaint
Your dispute with your employer is a trade dispute which is defined in the Industrial Relations Act 1990 as “any dispute between employers and workers which is connected with the employment or non-employment, or the terms or conditions of or affecting the employment, of any person”.
The adjudicators of the Workplace Relations Commission have the power to investigate certain trade disputes.They investigate disputes, grievances and claims that individuals or small groups of workers make under a range of employment legislation.
Your complaint is not covered by specific legislation such as the Payment of Wages Act 1991. Instead, your complaint, which is a trade dispute as defined above, should be made under the Industrial Relations Acts 1969-2015 – see ‘How to apply’ below. Under this legislation if your employer objects to an adjudicator hearing you would have to refer the matter to the Labour Court.
Following the investigation of your complaint, the adjudicator issues a decision. Either of you may appeal this decision to the Labour Court.
Alternatively you could make a complaint under the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994 and 2001 – see ‘How to apply’ below. If you are regularly being paid late, this means you are not being paid in accordance with your written terms of employment.
If you are consistently paid late by your employer you may also consider that you have no choice but to resign and claim constructive dismissal because your employer has breached the terms of your contract. Before you do this, you should always seek detailed legal advice as proving constructive dismissal can often be difficult.
How to apply
If you are regularly being paid late, you can either make a complaint under the Industrial Relations Acts 1969-2015 or you can bring a complaint under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 and 2001. You must use the online complaint form available on workplacerelations.ie).
You must make the complaint while you are in employment or within 6 months of leaving your employment.
For further information about your employment rights contact the Workplace Relations Commission's Information and Customer Service - see 'Where to apply' below.
Where to apply