The Payment of Wages Act 1991 gives all employees a right to a pay slip which shows the gross wage and details of all deductions. A pay slip is essentially a written statement from the employer to the employee that outlines the total pay before tax and all details of any deductions from pay. It can be provided to you in electronic format or in hard copy. Your right to a pay slip is set down in Section 4 of this Act.
Deductions from pay
The Payment of Wages Act 1991 refers to situations where deductions are made from pay or the employee needs to make a payment to the employer.
The following deductions from your pay by your employer are allowed when:
- They are required by law, for example, tax (PAYE) and social insurance (PRSI),
- They are provided for in the contract of employment, for example occupational pension contributions
- They are made with your written consent, for example, trade union subscriptions
- They are to recover an overpayment of wages or expenses
- They are required by a court order, for example, an attachment of earnings order in a family law case
- They arise because you are on strike
If your employer suffers loss because something is your fault, for example breakages or till shortages deductions from your pay may be allowed. Deductions may also be allowed if your employer supplies a service as part of the job, for example, a uniform. In these cases a deduction (or payment by the employee) is only allowed if:
- It is allowed for in your contract
- It is fair and reasonable
- You have received a written notice of the deduction - a full week's notice if the deduction arises from your mistake
- The amount of the deduction does not exceed the loss or cost of the service
- The deduction takes place within 6 months of the loss or cost occurring
Failure to pay all or part of the wages due to an employee is considered an unlawful deduction and a complaint can be made under the Payment of Wages Act – see ‘How to make a complaint’ below. Likewise, unpaid notice, holiday pay, bonus and commission payments can also form part of a claim under the Act.
How to make a complaint
Complaints about unauthorised deductions from wages under the Payment of Wages Act 1991 should be made to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). You must use the online complaint form available on workplacerelations.ie. A complaint must be brought within 6 months of the date of the deduction. The time limit may be extended for up to a further 6 months, but only where there is a reasonable cause which prevented you from bringing the complaint in the normal time limit.
An employer who fails to provide a pay slip or provides one that is deliberately falsified is guilty of an offence under the Payment of Wages Act 1991 and may be issued with a fixed payment notice. Complaints about pay slips should also be made to the WRC using the process described above.
Further information is available in this explanatory booklet on the Payment of Wages Act 1991 (pdf) or from WRC Information and Customer Service - see 'Where to make a complaint' below.
Where to make a complaint