Payment of Wages in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Delaney v Staples (trading as De Montfort Recruitment)
    • House of Lords
    • 12 Mar 1992

    But it is important to approach such definition bearing in mind the normal meaning of that word. I agree with the Court of Appeal that the essential characteristic of wages is that they are consideration for work done or to be done under a contract of employment. If a payment is not referable to an obligation on the employee under a subsisting contract of employment to render his services it does not in my judgment fall within the ordinary meaning of the word "wages".

    (1) An employer gives proper notice of termination to his employee, tells the employee that he need not work until the termination date and gives him the wages attributable to the notice period in a lump sum. In this case (commonly call "garden leave") there is no breach of contract by the employer. The employment continues until the expiry of the notice: the lump sum payment is simply advance payment of wages.

    (2) The contract of employment provides expressly that the employment may be terminated either by notice or, on payment of a sum in lieu of notice, summarily. In such a case if the employer summarily dismisses the employee he is not in breach of contract provided that he makes the payment in lieu. But the payment in lieu is not a payment of wages in the ordinary sense since it is not a payment for work to be done under the contract of employment.

    (3) At the end of the employment, the employer and the employee agree that the employment is to terminate forthwith on payment of a sum in lieu of notice. Again, the employer is not in breach of contract by dismissing summarily and the payment in lieu is not stictly wages since it is not remuneration for work done during the continuance of the employment.

    (4) Without the agreement of the employee, the employer summarily dismisses the employee and tenders a payment in lieu of proper notice. However, the summary dismissal is effective to put an end to the employment relationship, whether or not it unilaterally discharges the contract of employment. It follows that the payment in lieu is not a payment of wages in the ordinary sense since it is not a payment for work done under the contract of employment.

  • Miles v Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
    • House of Lords
    • 12 Mar 1987

    The employer pays for work and the worker works for his wages. In an action by a worker to recover his pay he must allege and be ready to prove that he worked or was willing to work. In the present case the plaintiff disentitled himself for his salary for Saturday morning because he declined to work on Saturday morning in accordance with his duty.

  • Addison v Babcock F.A.T.A. Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 05 Mar 1987

    I would uphold the principle, firstly, because it is not shown to have worked unfairly or in a manner contrary to the intention of Parliament in the limited form in which it was stated and applied in the cases cited.

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Legislation
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Defining Industrial Action
    • Núm. 45-3, September 2017
    • Federal Law Review
    Unions engaged in enterprise bargaining under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (‘FW Act’) frequently exhibit considerable creativity in the forms of industrial action they take in order to pressurise e...
    ...... to orders to stop or prevent un protected industrial action; payment of wages for p eriods when employee s are engaging in industrial ......
  • Juridification in Chinese Labour Law: a cautionary tale of remuneration disputes
    • Núm. 41-6, October 2019
    • Employee Relations
    • 1273-1287
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the post-enactment status of China’s Labour Contract Law and Labour Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law, focusing on the dramatic rise in remunera...
    ...... reduction in straightforward cases,such as disputes concerning non-payment of wages/minimum wages, on which the law is clear. It is ......
  • METHODS OF WAGE PAYMENT, WAGES STRUCTURES AND THE INFLUENCE OF FACTOR AND PRODUCT MARKETS
    • Núm. 15-2, July 1977
    • British Journal of Industrial Relations
  • It's time to abolish the wage packet
    • Núm. 81-1, January 1981
    • Industrial Management & Data Systems
    • 6-8
    THE GOVERNMENT's ‘Think Tank’ is recommending that employers abolish the weekly wage packet. This view is rapidly gaining ground in political circles. The Think Tank — the Government's Central Poli...
    ......, and the social and politi-cal consequences of the preponderance of wages paid directly in cash. The Tank has completed its deliberations and will ... workers to offer suitable inducements to employees both to accept payment of wages at intervals longer than a week, and also to agree to receiving ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Constructive Dismissal
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... Court of Appeal used the example of an employer which fails to pay wages but only because a major customer has defaulted on a payment. The ......
  • Illegal Contracts
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... was illegal would provide a defence to an employee's claim for non payment of wages. The Claimant in this case was a Nigerian woman married to a ......
  • Employers Erupt As Ash Cloud Extends Employees' Holidays. What Can You Do?
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... have a statutory right not to suffer unlawful deductions from wages. A deduction from wages will be unauthorised if there is no contractual ... of employment should be amended to allow employers to withhold payment of wages and to require employees to take annual leave in situations where ......
  • When Will It End? Notice Of Dismissal And The Effective Date Of Termination
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ......Further, the fact that payment of wages to the employee ends prior to this date does not shorten the ......
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