Our employer has not paid us any money this week. What can we do?

Failure to pay wages for work done counts, in law, as an unauthorised deduction from wages. If the matter cannot be resolved, you are entitled to make a claim to an employment tribunal.

Failure to pay wages – in full and on time – is also a fundamental breach of the employment contract.

An important change was made to employment tribunal procedure in May 2014. The first step, before bringing any tribunal claim, is now to complete an Acas Early Conciliation Notification Form. The Acas early conciliation process explained. There are strict time limits involved and you must not delay. If you don't follow the correct process, or if you delay and miss the deadline, you will not be able to bring your claim.

Acas early conciliation is free of charge. With your agreement, Acas should contact your employer to explain to them that wages must be paid when due. Sometimes, intervention from an outside party such as Acas is all that is needed to persuade your employer that wages must be paid without delay.

You can find out more about bringing a tribunal claim, including Acas early conciliation, tribunal fees and applying for help with fees, in our Enforcing your Rights section.

Make sure you allow plenty of time to make your application. Do not leave it to the last minute.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.