Found 4th Nov 2016
Hi there I work for a big energy company as an electrician and was wanting to ask a question if this is legal or not, it's not in my contract so...

basicly we sign off test certificates (paper copy for customer and online copy for work) , they recently sent an email out saying if we don't sign these certificates online within 48 hours they will deduct money off for each job that has not been signed off.

BUT it didn't mention anything about it getting refunded , my question is are they allowed to just take money off you for not signing a certificate off within 48 hours and not be refunded?

Thanks

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17 Comments

How would we know what is stipulated in your contracts?

Original Poster

what do you mean, it doesn't mention anything about deductions for not filling out certificates, I'm just asking if 'by law' can you be deducted money and not given back for such a thing, it's potentially stealing

sounds perfectly reasonable, how will they know you have done the work if you don't lodge the paperwork?

what's the issue? surely you go online and do your paperwork at the end of each day, no?

Banned

No its not legal unless they formally adjust your contract.

If you are a contractor not an employee it needs to be agreed to by both sides too.

Edited by: "YouDontWantToKnow" 4th Nov 2016

I am 99% sure (Now 100%) this would be an unlawful deduction unless it is stipulated in your contract. Best check with acas as derek suggests.

From ACAS:
Pay deductions

One of three conditions has to be met for an employer to lawfully make deductions from wages or take payments from a worker. The deduction or payment must be:

required or authorised by legislation (for example, income tax or national insurance deductions)
authorised by the worker's contract - provided the worker has been given a written copy of the relevant terms or a written explanation of them before it is made
consented to by the worker in writing before it is made.

There are exemptions from these conditions which allow an employer to recover, for example, an earlier overpayment of wages or expenses to a worker.

The law protects individuals from having unauthorised deductions made from their wages, including complete non-payment. This protection applies both to employees and to some self-employed workers.

There are extra protections for individuals in retail work that make it illegal for an employer to deduct more than 10 per cent from the gross amount of any payment of wages (except the final payment on termination of employment) if the deduction is made because of cash shortages or stock deficiencies.

Workers who believe they have suffered an unlawful deduction from wages should take it up with their manager and/or HR/payroll department. If this doesn't resolve the matter, recourse may be made to formal internal procedures. Only if all else fails should a complaint to an employment tribunal be considered.

Limit on a claim for an underpayment

The introduction of The Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 means that when making a claim for backdated deductions from wages for holiday pay, a two year cap will be placed on all claims that are brought on or after 1st July 2015. This means that the period that the claim can cover will be limited to a maximum of 2 years.

Watch our expert adviser talk about one of the most asked questions to the Acas Helpline.

Edited by: "getmeone" 4th Nov 2016

SSE by any chance?

Does your employer provide a means of filling this online form? i.e. Laptop, Tablet...?

At face value this does appear to be an unlawful deduction from wages and I can imagine a number of various circumstances where it proves to be impossible for the employee to satisfy the employers requirements - so without some checks and balances in place the employer may end up deducting wages unjustifiably and thus illegally. Behind all this there will be some little admin twit who wants their paperwork completed and has not got a clue about Employment Law - so a quick word in the right ear will probably sort it.
There is though a possibility this could all be above board - are you sure you have not missed some consultation papers about changing your contracts T&Cs? Is there a TU involved where maybe the the Employer and TU have sole negotiating powers over contracts and their terms?

Original Poster

Chris76h

SSE by any chance?



​bg

Original Poster

they give you an iPad but we are so busy and each one takes about 10 minutes on the iPad, we do 3-5 jobs per day so 50 minutes a day each day is so hard to get in work time, we don't get overtime or anything doing it in the house and we are constantly pressurized to get all jobs complete, pretty impossible to do all those jobs plus all paperwork

Original Poster

andynicol

Does your employer provide a means of filling this online form? i.e. … Does your employer provide a means of filling this online form? i.e. Laptop, Tablet...?



​we have an iPad but takes forever to do online and we do up to 5 jobs per day with no overtime pay for working out of work hours, so I refuse to do it in my own time, each one takes around 10 minutes on the iPad

Original Poster

eset12345

sounds perfectly reasonable, how will they know you have done the work if … sounds perfectly reasonable, how will they know you have done the work if you don't lodge the paperwork? what's the issue? surely you go online and do your paperwork at the end of each day, no?



​because the engineer signs the job off after everything is finished, and takes payment from customer

The joys of working for a big company I had similar with my last company (massive construction company begins with K and sounds like queer lol) and when they started using a PDA/iPad they still wanted us to use paperwork as well as electronic formats wasted so much time and they still wanted us to get the same amount of work done.

Edited by: "darksideby182" 5th Nov 2016

andrewmclachlan1

they give you an iPad but we are so busy and each one takes about 10 … they give you an iPad but we are so busy and each one takes about 10 minutes on the iPad, we do 3-5 jobs per day so 50 minutes a day each day is so hard to get in work time, we don't get overtime or anything doing it in the house and we are constantly pressurized to get all jobs complete, pretty impossible to do all those jobs plus all paperwork



They will see the paperwork as a part of each job. If you are not doing it then you are not completing your job. In your situation (because I have been in the same situation) is to sit in the van after the job and have a coffee and snack and fill it in then go to the next job.
If you find that you are struggling to get round all your jobs speak to your boss and tell him in writing that your cant complete the jobs set in the time. Then log the times for jobs as evidence. Do this for 4 weeks and present the evidence. Graphs are good at getting the point home.
In my case getting the jobs done in the time was not the issue it was they allocated time to get to each job that was the issue. They were working on always doing 30mph in a 30 limit and 70mph on the motorway. Lifes not like that.

Is it that they are "deducting" money, or that they are not paying you the full amount because you have not complied with their standard?

Are you in the union? Its at times like this that they come in very handy.
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