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Unlawful deductions from claimant’s wages appeal

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith v Ehsan an appeal against the ET’s decision that unlawful deductions from the Claimant’s wages had been made by the Respondent was allowed.

The Claimant was employed by the Respondent, a mosque, until he was summarily dismissed. He claimed unfair dismissal for the reason, or principal reason, that he had made protected disclosures, and he contended that he was owed “other payments”. The Claimant claimed that he was paid his agreed salary but was required to make repayments, and this was treated as a claim for unlawful deduction from wages. The ET rejected the claim of unfair dismissal but held that unlawful deductions had been made from the Claimant’s wages and ordered the Respondent to make a payment to the Claimant. The Respondent appealed on grounds including that (1) a repayment of part of salary did not fall within the meaning of a “deduction” in section 13 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and (2) on the facts of the case, the full salary was not “properly payable”.

The EAT held that the ET had failed to identify the “occasions” on which less was paid than the amount that was properly payable; that was a necessary stage in determining whether unlawful deductions had been made from the Claimant’s wages. Since there was no analysis of when such deductions occurred, there was an error of law in the ET’s determination. Accordingly, the matter would be remitted for determination by a fresh ET.

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