- Unlawful deductions from wages provisions cover 'workers', including employees and apprentices. Also included are people working under a contract and providing work or services personally to someone who is not a customer or client of the worker's profession or business. The provisions do not cover the genuinely self-employed.
- Lawful deductions include income tax and NICs, any deductionsauthorised by the worker's contract and those deductionsagreed in writing by the worker before the deductions are made.
- Workers in the retail sector have additional protection against unlawful deductions and special rules apply to any deductions made in relation to 'cash shortages or stock deficiencies'.
- Complaints regarding unlawful deductions from wages must normally be made to an employment tribunal within three months of the deduction.
- Overpayments resulting from a 'mistake of fact', such as a computing error, can potentially be recovered, although any repayment by the employee from his or her wages must comply with the provisions that govern unlawful deductions.
- Overpayments resulting from a 'mistake of law', such as misinterpreting legislation, are irrecoverable.