Being paid and payslips
An employee has the right to know how much they will be paid and how often. They are also entitled to receive an individual, detailed written pay statement from their employer, either when they are paid or shortly before.
When and how you should be paid
When you start work your employer should tell you:
- the day or date when you'll be paid - for example, each Friday, or the last working day of the month
- how you will be paid, for example, in cash, by cheque or directly to your bank
If you are an employee, you must be given a document which tells you how much you will be paid, and at what intervals, within two months of starting work. This is normally contained in your contract of employment.
You don't have a right to receive a pay slip if you're:
- not an employee, for example contractors, freelancers or 'workers'
- a member of the police service
- a merchant seaman, master or crew member working in share fishing and paid only by a share in the profits or gross earnings of a fishing vessel
- Understanding your work status
What your payslip must contain
Every pay statement must contain the following information:
- amount of your wages before any deductions (gross wages)
- individual amount of any fixed deductions (such as trade union subscriptions) or the total amount of these deductions if you are given a 'standing statement of fixed deductions' as detailed below
- individual amount of any variable deductions (for example, tax)
- net amount of your wages (this is the total after deductions)
- amount and method for any part-payment of wage (such as separate figures of a cash payment and the balance credited to a bank account)
Your employer might include additional information on your payslip which they are not required to provide, such as:
- National Insurance number
- tax codes
- pay rate (either annual or hourly)
- additional payments like overtime, tips or bonuses, which might be shown separately
Standing statement of fixed deductions
If your employer does not set out any fixed deductions in your pay slip, they must give you a standing statement of fixed deductions.
The statement must:
- be in writing
- state the amount and intervals at which the deduction is made
- contain the purpose or description of the deduction
- be given to you before your first payslip with the fixed deductions
- be updated at least every 12 months
If there are changes that affect your fixed deductions, your employer must give you written notice of the change or an amended statement.
Problem with your payslip
If you have a problem with your payslip, you should speak to your employer first to see if you can sort out the problem informally. If you have an employee representative or you are a member of a trade union you could ask for their help.
If this does not work, you might be able to make an application to an Industrial Tribunal.
If you didn't receive your full pay, you should check your payslip and contract of employment to see if they explain why you have not been fully paid.
The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues for residents of Northern Ireland.