Pay and pensions

There are a number of rights that make sure your employer pays you the right amount of money for the work you do, and helps you save for your retirement.

It's important to remember that some of these rights only apply to people with a certain employment status (like an employee, or a worker).

If you are not sure what this means, make sure you read the general information on employment rights before you go any further.

How much should I get paid every hour?

The National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage

Usually the person you work for must pay you a certain amount of money for every hour that you work.  

How much you get is different depending on how old you are. If you are under 25 it is called the National Minimum Wage. If your are over 25 it is called the National Living Wage

This amount is decided by the government and they change it every April. See the latest rates.

The National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage are for employees and workers only.

I'm getting less than the Minimum or Living Wage

If you think you are getting paid less than the Minimum or Living Wage, there are lots of different ways to try and deal with the problem yourself. 

Citizens Advice has some good advice on their website about what you can do. 

There is also some good advice and a useful tool on the My Pay London website to check whether you are getting paid the right amount. The website is run by the charity Legal Action Group. 

I need more help

If you are struggling to deal with the problem yourself, there are lots of places where you can get more help.

Before you contact anyone for support, it’s really important to have as much information as possible. Things you might need include: 

  • a description of the problem you are having
  • a copy of your employment contract (if you have one) 
  • a copy of any recent pay slips (if you have one)
  • a copy of any letters or emails between you and the person you work for that relate to the problem you are having
  • details of any conversations about the problem you have had with the person you work for  

Where can I get specialist advice?

Over the phone or via email

  • if you want more general information about employment rights you can telephone the ACAS helpline on 0300 123 1100. It's open from 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday, and can give you help in any language. If you have a hearing or speech impairment you can use their Text Relay service on 18001 0300 123 1100. They may also be able to help you to sort out the problem with the person you work for. This is called mediation
  • if you are disabled and want advice about your employment rights you can contact the Disability Law Service (DLS) on 0207 791 9800 or email [email protected]
  • Working Families are a national charity that provide free advice for parents and carers. You can visit their website for more information, email their free helpline [email protected] (they aim to respond within five working days) or call  0300 012 0312 (currently open Monday 3pm - 5pm, Tuesday and Thursday 12pm - 2pm)
  • if you are a member of a Trade Union you can contact them directly for advice

Face-to-face advice
 

We've created a map of advice centres in London to help you find out where to get help with the Minimum or Living Wage. We've also provided their details in a list. Lots of them also give advice over the telephone or by email. 
 
It’s important to remember that some places may only be able to help you:

  • with certain things like general advice or filling in forms
  • if you live or work close to them (eg you may have to live in the same borough)
  • if you come from certain countries or backgrounds (eg you come from Eastern or Central Europe)
  • if you don’t earn very much or are struggling with money
  • if you have telephoned them first to make an appointment 

Make sure you check these details on our map or list of centres so you find the right place to help you.

Making sure your wages are the right amount

Unlawful deductions

The person you work for is only allowed to take money out of your wages for some things like taxes or costs that you agreed to when you started work. These should be in your contract (if you have one). 

If they take money out for another reason or they don't pay you at all, they may be breaking the law. 

This is called unlawful deductions.

Rights protecting you against unlawful deductions  are for employees and workers only.

I have a problem with unlawful deductions

There is more information on the government's website about what your employer can or can't take out of your wages.

If you do think you have had unlawful deductions, there are lots of ways you can try and deal with the problem yourself. 

Citizens Advice has some good advice about dealing with problems at work.

There is also some good advice and a useful tool on the My Pay London website to check whether you are getting paid the right amount. The website is run by the charity Legal Action Group. 

I need more help

If you are struggling to deal with the problem yourself, there are lots of places where you can get more help.

Before you contact anyone for support, it’s really important to have as much information as possible ready. Things you might need include: 

  • a description of the problem you are having
  • a copy of your employment contract (if you have one) 
  • a copy of any recent pay slips (if you have one)
  • a copy of any letters or emails between you and the person you work for that relate to the problem you are having
  • details of any conversations about the problem you have had with the person you work for  

Where can I get get specialist advice?

Over the phone or via email

  • if you want more general information about employment rights you can telephone the ACAS helpline on 0300 123 1100. It's open from 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday, and can give you help in any language. If you have a hearing or speech impairment you can use their Text Relay service on 18001 0300 123 1100. They may also be able to help you to sort out the problem with the person you work for. This is called mediation
  • if you are disabled and want advice about your employment rights you can contact the Disability Law Service (DLS) on 0207 791 9800 or email [email protected]
  • Working Families are a national charity that provide free advice for parents and carers. You can visit their website for more information, email their free helpline [email protected] (they aim to respond within five working days) or call  0300 012 0312 (currently open Monday 3pm - 5pm, Tuesday and Thursday 12pm - 2pm)
  • if you are a member of a Trade Union you can contact them directly for advice

Face-to-face advice
 

We've created a map of advice centres in London so you can find help with unlawful deductions. We've also provided their details in a list. Lots of them also give advice over the telephone or via email. 
 
It’s important to remember that some places may only be able to help you:

  • with certain things like general advice or filling in forms
  • if you live or work close to them (eg you may have to live in the same borough)
  • if you come from certain countries or backgrounds (eg you come from Eastern or Central Europe)
  • if you don’t earn very much or are struggling with money
  • if you have telephoned them first to make an appointment 

Make sure you check the details on our map or list of centres so you find the right place to help. 

The right to written information about your pay

Itemised payslips or statements

If you ask for it, the person you work for must write down how much money you earned since they last paid you.

They must also write down how much money they have taken off your pay for things like tax.

This is called an Itemised Payslip or Itemised Pay Statement.

From April 2019, payslips must also include information about the hours you have worked where you got paid a different amount, for example if you got paid more for doing overtime.

The right to written information about your pay is for employees and workers only.   

I have a problem with itemised payslips

There is more information about payslips and what should be included in them on the government's website.

If you do think you have a problem with your payslip or the person you work for refuses to give you one, there are lots of ways you can try and deal with the problem yourself. 

Citizens Advice has some good advice about dealing with problems at work.

I need more help

If you are struggling to deal with the problem yourself, there are lots of places where you can get more help.

Before you contact anyone for support, it’s really important to have as much information as possible ready. Things you might need include: 

  • a description of the problem you are having
  • a copy of your employment contract (if you have one) 
  • a copy of any recent pay slips (if you have one)
  • a copy of any letters or emails between you and the person you work for that relate to the problem you are having
  • details of any conversations about the problem you have had with the person you work for  

Where can I get get specialist advice?

Over the phone or via email

  • if you want more general information about employment rights you can telephone the ACAS helpline on 0300 123 1100. It's open from 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday, and can give you help in any language. If you have a hearing or speech impairment you can use their Text Relay service on 18001 0300 123 1100. They may also be able to help you to sort out the problem with the person you work for. This is called mediation
  • if you are disabled and want advice about your employment rights you can contact the Disability Law Service (DLS) on 0207 791 9800 or email [email protected]
  • Working Families are a national charity that provide free advice for parents and carers. You can visit their website for more information, email their free helpline [email protected] (they aim to respond within five working days) or call  0300 012 0312 (currently open Monday 3pm - 5pm, Tuesday and Thursday 12pm - 2pm)
  • if you are a member of a Trade Union you can contact them directly for advice

Face-to-face advice
 

We've created a map of advice centres in London so you can get help with payslips. We've also provided their details in a list. Lots of them also give advice over the telephone or via email. 
 
It’s important to remember that some places may only be able to help you:

  • with certain things like general advice or filling in forms
  • if you live or work close to them (eg you may have to live in the same borough)
  • if you come from certain countries or backgrounds (eg you come from Eastern or Central Europe)
  • if you don’t earn very much or are struggling with money
  • if you have telephoned them first to make an appointment 

Make sure you check the details on our map or list of centres to find the right place to help with your problem. 

Help with the cost of retirement

Workplace pensions

The person you work for can put aside some of your wages every time you get paid so that you have money to live off when you are old enough to stop working.This is called a Workplace Pension

The person you work for usually has to put some extra money into your pension every time you get paid too.  

They usually have to give you a Workplace Pension unless you tell them not to. This is called automatic enrolment.  

Workplace pensions are for employees and workers only.

I have a problem with workplace pensions

There is lots of good general information on the government's website about workplace pensions. 

If you do think you have a problem with workplace pensions there is some good advice on the Pensions Regulator website about what you can do and who you need to tell. You can also report the person you work for.

I need more help

If you need more support with dealing with a problem with workplace pensions, it’s really important to get as much information as possible ready before contacting someone for help. Things you might need include: 

  • a description of the problem you are having
  • a copy of your employment contract (if you have one) 
  • a copy of any recent pay slips (if you have one)
  • a copy of any pensions statements (if you have them)
  • a copy of any letters or emails between you and the person you work for that relate to the problem you are having
  • details of any conversations about the problem you have had with the person you work for  

Where can I get get specialist advice?

  • for general questions about workplace pensions you can call the government's Workplace Pension Information Line on 0800 731 0372. It is open from 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday. If you cannot hear or speak on the phone you can call 18001 then 0800 731 0372 for NGT text relay. The textphone number is 0800 731 0392
  • if you are having a problem with automatic enrolment or you need advice about workplace pensions you can call the Pensions Advisory Service on 0800 011 3797. They are open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. There is more information on their website about other ways you can contact them, like webchat or by post
  • if you want information or advice about whether to take out a workplace pension or not there is lots of good information on the Money Advice Service website. It includes an advice tool and calculator

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