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Payslips Explained

The majority of employees are entitled to receive a written payslip from their employer detailing their wages, how they are paid and any authorised deductions which may have been taken from the payment.

Most employees are entitled to an individual written payslip. However, you are not entitled to a payslip if you are:
  • employed by the police services
  • working in share fishing and consequentially being paid solely by a share in the profits or gross earnings of a fishing vessel, or classed as a merchant seaman, master or crew member
  • not an employee; i.e working freelance as a contractor

If you are entitled to a payslip, it must contain the following:

  • your wages before deductions (gross wages)
  • either a total amount, or an itemised breakdown, of any fixed deductions (i.e. trade union subscriptions), depending on whether you have a 'standing statement of fixed deductions'
  • any variable deductions broken down (for example, tax)
  • net wages amount (total after deductions)
  • method and amount for any part-payment of wage (i.e. itemised amounts of cash payments and balance credited to the employee's bank account)

Additional information your employer may, but is not required to, include on your payslip:

  • pay rate (by the hour or annually)
  • additional payments i.e. overtime, bonuses or tips, as a total or separately
  • your National Insurance number
  • tax codes

Standing statement of fixed deductions

If your employer does not itemise any fixed deductions in your pay slip, they must give you a standing statement of fixed deductions before or at the same time as your first pay slip.

A standing statement must:

  • be presented to you by your employer before or at the same time as your first payslip with the fixed deductions
  • be updated every 12 months
  • be written
  • state the intervals and amount of the deductions
  • contain basic information regarding deductions, i.e. purpose or description

In the case of any changes that affect your fixed deductions, you must receive an amended statement or written notice by your employer.

Pay Deduction

As outlined in the Employment Rights Act 1996 it is unlawful for deductions to be carried out by an employer itself, from wages paid to any worker unless either:

(a)  this is authorised by statute or provision in the worker's contract; or
(b)  the worker has given written consent in advance.

What if you have a problem with your payslip?

Initially it is best to speak directly with your employer and attempt to sort the problem informally. Alternatively, you may have an employee representative or trade union member you may wish to consult.

Failing the above, you may be able to take your case to an employment tribunal.

In the event of receiving less than your full amount of pay, you should check your payslip against your contract of employment to ensure you are receiving your correct contractual entitlement.