When you are regularly paid late
Under your contract of employment, you have a legal right to be paid on time. If your employer is regularly late when paying your wages and you are still employed by them, you can use a two-stage procedure to enforce your legal right to be paid on time.
First, you should try to resolve this dispute with your employer, by using any internal complaint or grievances procedures that are available (Stage 1 below). Then, if this does not work and your employer is still paying you late, you can make a formal complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (Stage 2 below).
At both stages, you should use any supports available, such as a trade union or your local Citizens Information Centre.
Stage 1: 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 workplace 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 you cannot resolve the dispute by following your workplace grievance procedure, or if your employer does not have a grievance procedure, you may have to go on to the next stage: making a formal complaint.
Stage 2: Making a formal complaint
Your dispute with your employer is defined as a trade dispute under the Industrial Relations Act 1990. Therefore, it may be investigated by the Workplace Relations Commission. The Commission has the power to adjudicate on disputes, grievances and claims that individuals or small groups of workers make under a range of employment legislation.
You can make a complaint under either the Industrial Relations Acts 1969-2015 or the Terms of Employment Acts 1994 and 2014. In either case, you start by applying to the Workplace Relations Commission, using the online complaint form on workplacerelations.ie.
What does the Workplace Relations Commission do?
- If you bring a case under the Industrial Relations Acts, the adjudicators may hold a hearing to investigate it. If your employer objects to a hearing, you should refer the matter to the Labour Court.
- Following their investigation of your complaint, the adjudicators issue a decision. Either you or your employer may appeal this decision to the Labour Court.
If you are consistently paid late by your employer, another alternative is to resign and claim constructive dismissal because your employer has breached the terms of your contract. Before you do this, you should always seek legal advice because proving constructive dismissal can often be difficult.
How to make a complaint
You must make the complaint while you are still employed by the employer who is paying you late or within six months of leaving that employment.
Use the online complaint form available at Workplace Relations.
For further information about your employment rights and advice on how to resolve your dispute, contact the Workplace Relations online Information and Customer Service.
Where to make a complaint