Pay guidance

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Pay Slip

Payslips

Employees are entitled to a payslip each time they are paid. The payslip should say what they have been paid, what deductions have been made (e.g. tax, National Insurance and trade union subscriptions) and take-home pay.

Each year employers must give employees a P60 certificate which shows their gross pay for the year, take-home pay and the total deductions made from their pay during the year.

​​ Minimum WageNational minimum wage

Workers and employees have the right to be paid no less than the national minimum wage, which is set by the government and reviewed every year by the Low Pay Commission (which includes trade unions and employers).

There are different rates for 16 to17-year-olds, 18 to 20-year-olds, 21-24 year olds, those aged 25 and above, and some apprentices. To find out the latest rate of the national minimum wage

If you think you are being paid under the national minimum wage contact the Pay and Rights at Work Helpline online or call 0300 123 1100. 

Deductions from pay​​​​Deductions from pay

Your employer should not make any deductions from your pay unless:

  • The deduction is required by law (i.e. income tax and National Insurance).
  • The deduction is allowed under your contract (e.g. trade union subscriptions).
  • You have signed a written agreement authorising the deduction.
  • Your employer has overpaid you - you should seek advice from a trade union representative if this has happened.
  • You did not work because of a strike (your employer can only deduct wages for the day(s) that you didn’t work).
  • There are also special rules on pay deductions for shop workers where the employer believes that a worker may have stolen – talk to a trade union official for guidance.
  • If your employer provides accommodation for you then they can pay you a slightly lower rate of the national minimum wage. This is called the accommodation offset:  https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-accommodation​.

Unlawful deductions from pay

  • No deductions can be made for any meals or other refreshments that are provided.
  • No deductions can be made for protective equipment that you need to do your job safely. If you have any concerns about this you should contact the Health and Safety Executive.

​​National Insurance and Tax​​National Insurance and tax

Every worker in the UK has a National Insurance number. This is a personal number issued by the government that you need to work legally. It is used to keep track of social security contributions

You will also have to pay income tax on earnings above a certain threshold. Every worker in the UK has a tax code, which an employer uses to work out how much tax they should pay on your behalf. If you are starting your first job in the UK you will probably start to pay 'emergency tax' until you have been given a tax code.

If you do not have a National Insurance Number (NINO), or have been issued with a temporary one by your employer, then you should call 0845 6000643; or apply for National Insurance number.

If your employer offers to pay you only in cash without paying National Insurance or tax (known as “cash in hand”), you should talk to a trade union official as soon as possible. It is illegal to employ someone cash in hand. 

Sick Pay

Sick pay

Your level of sick pay will depend on what is written in your contract of employment.

If your employer does not pay enhanced sick pay, you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), which is a flat-rate state benefit. It is payable by your employer from the fifth day of sickness up to 28 weeks. You are entitled to SSP as long as you have paid enough National Insurance contributions.

You may be able to claim Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance. Find out more

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