Leaving work without being paid

Introduction

If you lose your job you have certain rights and entitlements including the right to be paid for days you have worked.

If you have not been paid the right amount or if you are still owed some wages, you have legal rights.

This page can help you take steps to get paid the money you are owed after leaving a job.

When you leave work

On the day your employment ends, your employer should give you:

  • The pay you are owed and a payslip
  • If you have been made redundant, the redundancy payment you are due
  • Pay in lieu (instead) of your notice period (if you have not worked your notice period)
  • Pay for holidays you are entitled to (if you have not taken them)
  • Pay for public holidays (if applicable)
  • Information about what happens to your pension scheme (if applicable)

Check your final payslip for any extra payments or deductions. It should be clear in the payslip what each payment or deduction is for.

You no longer get a P45 from your employer when you leave your job. Now, when you leave a job your employer will enter your leaving date and details of your final pay and deductions into Revenue’s online system. You can then view your pay details through the ‘Manage your tax’ link in Revenue’s myAccount.

You can read more about your entitlements when you lose your job.

What deductions can my employer take from my pay?

Your employer is allowed to make a deduction from your wages if:

  • It is required by law, for example, tax (PAYE) and social insurance (PRSI)
  • It is allowed under your contract of employment, for example occupational pension contributions
  • You have agreed to the deduction in writing, for example, trade union subscriptions
  • You owe money for an overpayment of wages or expenses
  • Required by a court order, for example, an attachment of earnings order in a family law case
  • It is arising from you being on strike

The legal deductions your employer can make from your pay is set out in the Payment of Wages Act 1991.

Unlawful deductions

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 by your employer 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.

If you think your final pay is wrong

If you think your final pay is wrong, try speaking informally to your former employer. Ask them to explain anything you do not understand on your payslip, or why you have not been paid.

If you disagree with your employer's calculations, explain what you think the correct amount is. Ask them to pay the money you are owed as soon as possible.

If you cannot resolve the problem informally, you can make a formal complaint – see below.

Make a complaint about non-payment of wages

If you cannot resolve the issue directly with your employer, you can make a formal complaint about non-payment of wages to the Workplace Relations Commission. You should apply using the online complaint form.

You must make a complaint within 6 months of the date of the deduction - this is the date your wages were due to be paid. The time limit may be extended for up to a further 6 months, if there was reasonable cause for the delay.

Further information is available in this explanatory booklet on the Payment of Wages Act 1991 (pdf) or from the Workplace Relations Commission's Information and Customer Service - contact details below.

Where to complain

Workplace Relations Commission - Information and Customer Service

O'Brien Road
Carlow
R93 E920

Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
Page edited: 22 June 2021