Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
4:08 AM 7th August 2021

Wage Breach: How To Make A Complaint If You’ve Been Underpaid By Your Employer

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash
It has been revealed that almost 200 high street stores, firms and football clubs have been found guilty of underpaying workers, and forced to pay back over £2m in missing wages.

According to personal finance experts at, if you have been underpaid by your employer and want to make a complaint, there are several practical steps you should take to increase your chances of a fast resolution.

James Andrews, senior personal finance editor at, said: “Payslip errors can be caused by dozens of different reasons, such as glitches in the payment software or old-fashioned human error.

“In the case of the John Lewis partnership for example, the error was caused by a technical issue with variable pay scales, which caused over nineteen thousand people to be underpaid back in 2017.

“If you’ve been left out of pocket, you might not care what the reason for the error is, however it’s important to be as informed as possible before raising a complaint. If you go off track during your complaint and start raising issues not relevant to your specific case, you’ll only slow the process down.

“Before you raise a wage issue with your employer, make sure you have all the relevant documentation to hand. If you’ve experienced an issue with pay that goes back weeks or months, having the relevant payslips in front of you will make the process of claiming back pay easier as you won’t have to wait while your employer sources the relevant documents.

“If you’re putting your complaint into writing, make sure to address it to a specific person on the HR or finance team and ask for an acknowledgment of your complaint. This way, you should receive a call or message confirming your complaint is being investigated.

“Unlike sending an email to a general HR address, a personal email to a specific team member will be more accountable and will usually get a faster response. If you don’t know who to address the email to, ask your manager or a more senior team member for their advice, they may know who in the business is best placed to help you.

“It’s also a good idea to have another person looped into your complaint such as a relevant senior manager. This will encourage the person handling your complaint to follow the correct procedures and deal with your issue promptly.

“Remember, when you’re explaining the issue with your wage, keep calm even if you feel upset. Getting angry or being abusive towards your employer is not going to speed up the process, and may impact your progression later in your career.

“If you’re still unhappy with the outcome once your complaint has been dealt with, there are options available for further action. It is possible to take disputes over pay to an employment tribunal, however this can be a long and expensive process. Acas should be your first point of call for free, impartial advice.

“If you’re still unsure how best to complain, either to your employer or to other financial services, visit:”