If you think that you are being paid less than you are owed for the work that you do, it’s best to take action quickly. Being proactive is important since over time, nobody wants to be missing out on money that they could be earning and you will quickly become dissatisfied with your job. You may find that looking into the situation reveals that it is a simple mistake that can be rectified quickly – or perhaps your concerns are unfounded, which will be relieving. Here’s what to do if you believe that you should have been paid more.
Work Out How Much You Should Be Paid
If you suspect that your last paycheck was lower than it should have been, the first thing to do is check how much you should have been paid. You may want to speak to a trusted colleague who earns the same salary as yourself to see if your pay slips match. Or, check your contract of employment to see exactly how much you earn either hourly or for your yearly salary.
Work Out Your Pay
Once you know how much you should have been paid, work out what you have been paid to see if it matches up. You should check the hours that you have worked and make sure that you account for anything like overtime, allowances, days off, sick pay, annual leave and anything else. Once you have worked out what you should have earned before tax, make sure that you subtract any tax that you have paid from the total to see if it matches up with your wage. If there’s a difference, it’s time to speak to your employer about the issue.
Speak with Your Boss
The next step to take is to have a conversation with your manager or supervisor and let them know your concerns. They will be able to go through your pay check and hours worked with you, and advise you on the best next steps to take if it is looking likely that there has been a mistake made with the amount of money that you should have been paid. If you’ve worked out the difference between what you have been paid and what you should have been paid, most employers will be able to correct the oversight and ensure that you are paid the difference – although in other cases it might not be so clear cut, and it may be worth getting in touch with a union representative or getting legal advice.
Work Out Your Hours
If you are being underpaid on a consistent basis but your employer is insistent that your pay is accurate, you may benefit from keeping records of the hours that you work to ensure that they are being recorded accurately. To do this, you can use a timesheet calculator to record the time that you arrive on shift and leave your shift if you are paid hourly. At the end of the month, you can then use this to match up your information with the information that your employer has on your hours worked to see if any are being missed out.
Figure Out the Clock-in System
If your employer provides employees with an electronic clock-in system, it’s worth asking more about how this works since some systems will not record the full hour if you clock out at a certain time. For example, if your shift is set to finish at 6PM but your manager asks if you’d like to go home early at 5:50PM, some clock-in systems will not record to the minute and you may only end up being recorded as having worked for thirty minutes rather than fifty, which could add up over time if it happens a lot. In this case, it’s probably best to politely decline those offers of an early finish so that you know you’re being paid for the full amount of time you have worked, or ask your manager if they can manually adjust your timesheet to reflect the lost time.
Get Legal Advice
The good news is that in most cases of employees that have been underpaid, it is often a simple oversight or mistake that can easily be rectified as long as you alert your employer to the issue. However, in some cases, it might not be that easy. If you are sure that you are not being paid the right amount but your employer is refusing to listen or insists that you are not being underpaid, it’s worth speaking to a lawyer who is experienced with employment law to get more advice.
Nobody likes getting paid less than they were expecting. If this has happened to you, follow these steps to sort the situation out with your employer.
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