Working in Security: What YOU Need to Know

As of 2022, there were a total of 402,506 SIA license holders in the UK. All these license holders contribute, in some capacity, to the UK’s security industry. However, the manner of these contributions, together with how they are made, can vary greatly from person-to-person, business-to-business, and career-to-career.

Some security workers, for instance, work part-time to bolster wages earned from other jobs, while others derive their living solely from their work in security. Some are casual workers, or are attached to an employment agency, while others own their own businesses, or hold salaried positions. Some are employed directly by the businesses and premises they protect, while others are sub-contractors.

The examples presented above are by no means exhaustive. There are many ways to work in security, so we thought we’d produce a clear and comprehensive overview of the different ways you can work in security, as well as what your legal rights are in each employment scenario.

What are the 3 types of Employment Status?

Typically, security professionals fall under 1 of 3 categories: namely ‘Workers’, ‘Employees’, and the ‘Self-Employed’. Most professional arrangements will ultimately fall under one of these categories.

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You’re more likely to be classed as a worker if you are not guaranteed hours or offered regular, reliable work by your employer. The term ‘Worker’ is especially applicable to those who perform the work themselves, as opposed to delegating.

Additionally, if you are not expected to make yourself available for work outside of your agreed-upon hours, you will likely be considered a worker, as opposed to an employee.

Many security workers operate on a casual basis, being called in for specific ‘one-off’ shifts, limited multi-shift engagements, or semi-regular, but ultimately temporary arrangements.

The term ‘Worker’ may apply to such casual workers, as well as agency workers, freelancers (that don’t qualify for ‘Self-Employed’ status), zero-hours contractors, relief staff, and other temporary positions.

If you are classified as a worker, you have several legal rights while at work. These include the right to a written statement of your rights and responsibilities, as well as payslips detailing how much you have earned, and payment matching the National Minimum Wage (or better). You are also entitled to paid vacation time, protection for ‘whistleblowing’ (i.e., informing the relevant authorities if the organisation employing you is breaking the law), protection against unlawful discrimination (e.g., on the grounds of race, sex, disabilities, orientation, or similar), and unfair treatment.

In some cases, you could be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP), shared parental pay, parental bereavement pay, and maternity, paternity, and adoption pay. However, you will not be entitled to sick leave, maternity leave, or other types of leave, the rationale being that, as a casual or temporary worker, you can probably free up your own schedule.

You are also entitled to claim legal protections if your job is placing you in serious danger, or if you inform your employer about health and safety rules being ignored or overlooked. If you are harmed by a significant reduction of hours, if your requests for training are being turned down or ignored without good reason, or if you experience harassment, bullying, or prejudice of any kind, you are also entitled to legal protection.


To be considered an ‘Employee’, you must be consistently available to your employer on a regular basis (e.g., Monday to Friday). In such situations, your employer, manager, or supervisor dictates your workload, and you will not be able to pick and choose when you work (although flexible hours are possible in some companies).

An employee will not have the option to refuse work, though you may discuss your workload if it becomes unmanageable, or you feel you are being treated unfairly. Work will be regularly given, and your employer will expect it to be completed on time. You will be assigned tasks based on your training, experience, qualifications, and skill levels. In most cases, you will not have the option to delegate or sub-contract work, though you may be able to partner with a colleague.

Although they typically have less control over their schedule, those classed as ‘Employees’ are entitled to more benefits than those considered to simply be ‘Workers’.

These benefits include parental leave and pay, maternity, paternity, and adoption leave and pay, parental bereavement leave and pay, time off for dependants, time off for public duties (e.g., jury service), redundancy pay (if dismissed after 2 years or more of employment), the ability to claim ‘unfair dismissal’ (again, if dismissed after 2 years of employment), and your employer being subject to the minimum notice period before you are dismissed.

Being classed as an employee, also gives you the right to flexible working requests (after 26 weeks’ employment), as well as protection against dismissal if said dismissal arises over a health and safety violation, as a result of discrimination, or if you are facing a dangerous situation.

Instead of SSP, you will have the option to simply stay at home should you become too ill to work. Your employer will allow for a certain number of ‘sick days’ per year, and this will not affect your salary. You will also earn the National Minimum Wage (or better).


To be considered ‘Self-Employed’, a person must be responsible, by and large, for how, where, and when they work.

You may schedule this in advance with clients, but you would not, in most cases, be expected to work in the same place and at the same times throughout every week. If you own the company you work for, and/or operate as a freelancer, you will probably be classed as self-employed.

Self-employed people usually invoice for their pay, as opposed to simply receiving it. The invoice will contain an itemised list of services provided, and/or hours worked, and the employer will release funds based on this request.

The self-employed typically take on short, or fixed-term contracts, and as such are basically paid to do a job until that job is done. Interestingly, if you are self-employed, you can sub-contract, delegate, or outsource the work to others wherever appropriate.

Self-employed people will likely work for multiple businesses and individuals and will have ‘clients’ rather than employers. They are also able to set their own fees before taking on the job.

The self-employed enjoy fewer rights than the other 2 classifications we’ve mentioned. However, if they are an employer themselves, they will have to offer the rights to which their workers or employees are entitled.

If you are a self-employed person, your rights include protection for your health and safety on a client’s premises, and general protections against discrimination. Beyond that, you will not enjoy most of the rights and benefits listed above.

Within these 3 categories likely rests the entirety of the UK’s security workforce. The hours you work, the way you receive payment, how much you earn, and even what legal rights you have while at work are dictated by these classifications, so it’s important to know where you stand.

Payment & Tax

As a worker or an employee, you will be paid via the PAYE system. PAYE, or ‘Pay as You Earn’ is HMRC’s system for calculating and collecting Income Tax and National Insurance contributions from people’s wages.

The system relieves many people of the burden of calculating their own contributions and making separate payments (as well as HMRC having to expend valuable time and resources correcting these and chasing them up). It allows for automatic and immediate taxation as soon as the worker or employee has been paid.

For the self-employed, things tend to work a bit differently. Those who work for themselves (usually as a business owner or freelancer), don’t usually work for one employer who pays them a consistent salary (although regular clients are common for those who are successful in self-employment). In such cases, self-employed professionals usually invoice their clients and handle their own Income Tax and NI payments based on their earnings. The accuracy of their calculations, and timeliness of payments is entirely their responsibility.

Many self-employed people set themselves up as ‘sole traders’, a sole trader is the exclusive owner of a business or enterprise, who takes full responsibility for its profits (recouping everything made after tax), but also shoulders the burden of any losses.

It is increasingly common in the modern age for people to be both employed and self-employed. A person might, for example, work on a self-employed basis during evenings, weekends, and scheduled days off from their main area of employment. In such cases, they will need to declare all their earnings in order that their tax contributions be fairly counted.

Many security workers in the UK work on a part-time basis to bolster their income from other positions of employment. In such cases, they will likely be considered ‘workers’ (and will be paid via PAYE) rather than ‘self-employed’.

Those with multiple sources of income would do well to double-check their tax code to ensure that they are not being overcharged by mistake.

Tax Codes

Every tax payer in the UK is assigned a tax code by HMRC, this enables them to work out how much money should be taken from their earnings in taxes. It pays to always check your tax code, especially if you work more than one job.

In cases wherein the employee or worker is paid through PAYE, the tax code assigned is more than likely to be accurate. However, those with multiple employers may find that a tax code has been assigned that causes them to be heavily over-taxed. In such cases, a rebate is due, but it may not be issued until the following tax year.

Understanding your tax code can be a difficult task, but assuming your earnings exceed the Personal Allowance threshold, your tax code for this tax year (2021/22) should be 1257L, which means you can earn £12,570 before you start paying tax. If you are paid monthly or weekly then the system assumes this is what you will be paid every week/month and will tax accordingly.

If you have a second job, the tax code will be BR, indicating that all your employment income will be subject to the basic rate of tax (20%). Since you won’t have an allowance for this job, your entire salary will be taxed at the 20% rate.

If you are working for two companies concurrently, your tax code can be split between them. Assuming your earnings exceed the Personal Allowance threshold, your tax code for this tax year (2022/23) will be 1257L. This can be a split of 632L and 625L – one code per employer. For instance, if one employer has a tax code of 625L and the other employer has a tax code of 632L, it would work out as having one employer as both add up to the same amount 625 + 632 = 1257L.

Types of Employment Contracts

Your professional obligations as a security operative will be set out in a formal, legally binding contract, signed by both your employer (or employment agency) and yourself. However, there are many kinds of contracts, so it helps to understand what these are, as well as what they mean and what is expected of those who sign on the dotted line.

A Full-Time Contract affirms that the signee is obligated to work 35 hours a week or more for the company, individual or organisation. A Part-Time Contract outlines the hours, duties and obligations expected of the part-time position in question. In the UK, there is no minimum number of hours that defines a position as ‘part time’. However, by definition, no position may be considered part time if it requires more than a 35-hour-a-week commitment.

A Fixed-Term Contract secures the services of a person (often a contractor, freelancer, or temporary worker) for an amount of time defined by the contract.

A Temporary Contract stipulates that the person is being hired to work for a business, company, or enterprise on a temporary basis. Similar to a fixed-term contract, a start and end date will sometimes be present on a temporary contract, unless the arrangement is ongoing.

An Internship Contract details the arrangement between a business, company, or enterprise, and a person who wishes to act as an intern for said company. Internships are sometimes paid and sometimes unpaid. The contract will explicitly state that the person is to act in the capacity of an intern, as opposed to a part-time or freelance worker.

Like an internship, an apprenticeship is a position that is designed to be a learning experience for a younger or less experienced participant. An apprenticeship also involves on-the-job training and first-hand acquisition of new skills. An Apprentice Agreement is a type of contract drawn up at the beginning of the apprenticeship that outlines the duties and responsibilities of both the apprentice and the professional, company, or organisation that they will be learning from.

A Freelancer Contract is, as the name suggests, a contract offered to a freelancer at the start of a professional engagement. Like all other contracts described above, it will detail the duties and responsibilities of both parties. However, unlike many of the examples above, it will stipulate the exact duties for which the freelancer is being paid, as well as, in most cases, the duration of the job.

A Zero Hours’ Contract, sometimes referred to as a ‘Casual Contract‘ is drawn up for those seeking ‘on call’ work. A person on a zero hours’ contract is not entitled to any set hours in the same way that a full or part-time worker would be. Instead, the terms of a zero hours’ contract stipulate that the company, business, or organisation may contact the signee at any time and offer them work as and when it is needed.

The signee is not obligated to take the work when it is offered, although turning down offers too often may have negative consequences. Fluctuating rates of pay can also cause people claiming state benefits to lose money.

The flexibility offered by zero hours’ employment can be useful to some, but the hours tend to be erratic and unpredictable, wages are often low, and workers’ rights are sometimes ignored. Jobs are also frequently high pressure, and difficult for people with limited travel options, training, and experience.

Zero hours’ workers are entitled to statutory annual leave, SSP, and holiday pay, and they must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their work. In addition, they are free to seek – and accept – offers of work and employment from other places and have every legal right to do so.

Zero hours’ contracts are controversial, as they can allow less scrupulous employers to exploit their workers and ignore their legal rights. Citizens Advice have warned that zero hours’ workers are often dismissed without due process (simply being constantly told that there’s no available work in place of being formally let go, a practice that is especially problematic in cases where unfair dismissal rules, or redundancy money laws would otherwise apply).

Also of concern to Citizens Advice, as well as many others, is the practice of moving employees to zero hours’ contracts in place of offering flexible hours. Zero hours’ contracts have seen workers who suffer ill health being dismissed entirely, simply for being unwell.

Other legal entitlements, such as holiday pay and rest breaks may also be ignored by employers. Factually, zero hours’ workers are entitled to this, as well as other benefits. However, in practice, this isn’t always the case. Critics state that zero hours’ contracts leave signees open to exploitation.

Because of this, and other concerns, some countries, such as New Zealand and Ireland, have banned zero hours’ contracts. It remains to be seen if similar measures will be taken in the UK.

Uniform & Equipment

In the field of security, most employers will expect their staff to wear uniforms. In many cases, operatives will be expected to pay for these uniforms themselves. Whilst we do not condone this practice, it is commonplace in the industry.

The good news is that, if you are required to pay for your own uniform, you may be able to claim a tax rebate from HMRC to help with the cleaning and maintenance of said uniform. This is especially true for those who qualify as ‘Self-Employed’.

Before we go any further into this topic, we must stress that HMRC has a very clear definition of what a uniform consists of

A uniform, for tax purposes, is any clothing branded with a company logo that staff are expected to wear at work. The term can also apply to some protective gear (including hi-vis vests), and formal wear. It would not apply, for example, to a vague blanket order such as “all employees must dress smartly” or “all employees must wear black”.

If the clothing is not permanently branded with the employer’s name or logo, then it can be worn outside of work, which makes it taxable, at least as far as HMRC is concerned.

It’s also worth checking your tax code (see the section above) to ensure that it does not already take ‘uniform washing’ into account, otherwise you will be effectively claiming for a rebate you’re already receiving. You will also need to have paid at least some income tax in the year in which you are claiming.

Generally, UK taxpayers can claim back around £60 a year for the care and upkeep of a branded uniform. Some professions, however, can claim as much as £125 back. It’s certainly a topic worth researching.

Holiday, Sickness & Leave

Every employer should have in place a procedure for illness and sick leave. This will include instructions for when to inform them of your absence, as well as what specific information they will require. Failure to follow these instructions amounts to a breach of contract between you and your employer, and may affect your ability to receive sick pay, or even result in your termination (this would not formally qualify as unlawful dismissal).

You have a responsibility to tell your employer as soon as possible that you are unwell and will not be able to work. You must let your employer know how long you have been ill as well.

If you are an employee, you will probably be required to provide (or sign) a written statement (known as ‘self-certification’) that you have been ill, which will be used by your employer to accurately calculate the amount of time off employees are taking, as well as their sick pay entitlements.

There are also rules in place that govern how long a UK-based worker or employee can be off sick and still receive payment.

If you are ill for more than 7 consecutive days (a number that includes weekends and bank holidays), you are required to provide your employer with a ‘fit note’ (more commonly referred to as a ‘sick note’ but correctly called a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ or a ‘MED3′ form). This document, which must be issued by a healthcare professional, will officially state whether you are medically able to work.

A fit note need not be obtained in person, unless the healthcare professional needs to assess you face-to-face. However, one must be issued for the time off to be authorised and paid.

In cases where you are deemed fit enough to work, your employer will then discuss any changes that may need to be made to better facilitate your return to work, and long-term recovery (reduced hours, different duties, etc).

Sick leave does not qualify as holiday, and any unused holiday due to sickness must then roll over to the next year’s allowance.

If you are entitled to SSP (for example, if you are considered a ‘Worker’), your employer has no legal right to demand that you call in sick by a certain time. They also cannot force you to contact them more than once a week, request a fit note from you for absences that are less than 7 days, insist you fill out any forms or provide a written statement, or refuse to let a friend, colleague, or family member inform them that you are sick. If anything like this has occurred, it is still possible to claim your SSP even if your employer has refused to provide it.

Health & Wellbeing

Far from being the curse words that the UK’s tabloid media regularly makes them out to be, ‘Health & Safety’ considerations are enormously important to every UK-based worker.

Before the first H&S laws were passed, around 1000 British workers were being killed every year, with injuries in the hundreds of thousands. Without any exaggeration at all, H&S legislation has saved countless lives, and the UK is now one of the safest places in the world to work.

In the UK, all employers have a legal duty to protect the ‘health, safety and welfare’ of anybody they hire, as well as anybody on their premises. This duty includes easy access to first aid materials, always having a qualified first aider on site, maintaining good fire safety provisions and procedures, providing proper training in the safest methods of working or operating equipment, and providing risk assessments, as well as a viable H&S policy.

Whether you are classified as a worker, employee, contractor, freelancer, or anything else, you also have H&S responsibilities while at work.

You are required, for example, to take reasonable care of yourself (for example, not to do anything reckless or dangerous). You are also expected to take sick leave where necessary, rather than continue working whilst being too unwell to do so (this both impacts your ability to do your job, as well as potentially placing yourself and others at risk). You are expected to inform management of any serious or ongoing health problems (including mental health issues), and you are required to utilise all the training you have received when discharging your duties. You must also make your employer aware of any H&S violations, or noticeable risks you encounter while at work (as discussed above, you have legal protections available to you when doing so).

Mental health, for its part, is at least as important as physical health. However, the health of our minds is historically a very overlooked and misunderstood aspect of human wellbeing. Only now is the public discussion of mental health reaching a point of compassion, understanding, and comprehension.

Security operatives face a higher risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and PTSD, meaning that the security industry, as well as those who work within it, must take mental health issues extremely seriously.

In addition to those mentioned above, mental health conditions can include stress, anxiety, panic disorder, and OCD. At any given time, up to 15% of the UK population is battling these, or similar, issues.

UK-based employers have a legal ‘duty of care’ to everybody that works for them, this duty extends to mental health just as much as physical health. Working environments must be kept as safe as possible, staff must be protected from discrimination (strongly linked to mental health issues), and regular risk assessments must be carried out.

However, security work, by dint of being somewhat unpredictable and undeniably dangerous (as well as often being ‘sub-sub-contracted’ or outsourced by individuals or entities that are distant from the job itself) does make it difficult to stay healthy and safe, to say nothing of the training deficiencies our readers regularly talk about. Extra vigilance is needed, both from employers, as well as the operatives themselves.

If a mental health issue is debilitating, for example, it causes loss of focus or productivity, or severely impacts your normal day-to-day functions, it can be legally considered a disability. Workplace discrimination is illegal in the UK, and legal protections are extended to those who are discriminated against. If you or a colleague have been treated badly or unfairly dismissed because of said discrimination (provided, of course, that your employer was formally made aware of the situation), there exists a strong possibility that your employer has broken the law. Legal action can – and very possibly should – be taken in such cases.

Working Hours & Breaks

Legally, ‘working time‘ is defined as any time that a person is ‘at their employer’s disposal’. This means, essentially, that you are ‘at work’ whenever your employer, manager, or supervisor can give you instructions or reasonably expect you to be carrying out the tasks for which you are paid.

Working time does not count travel to and from the workplace, lunch breaks, or training that a person has organised for themselves.

In the UK, the maximum number of hours a person can work per week is 48. This includes people with multiple jobs. For comparison, 35 hours of work per week is considered full time. It is possible to opt out of the 48 hours maximum (and thus work even more hours), but we at WTD do not recommend this, especially not for security operatives. Additionally, an employer legally has no right to coerce, or threaten to punish in any way, an employee who does not wish to opt out of the 48-hour maximum.

If a person has not opted out but has somehow ended up working over the 48-hour limit, their upcoming hours must be lessened to counteract this.

Rest breaks of at least 20 minutes are allowed for any person who works more than 6 consecutive hours. Frustratingly, there is no rule that stipulates breaks for those who work longer than 6 hours. For example, a person working 12 hours has no legal entitlement to a second 20-minute break, or a consecutive 40-minute break. Aside from the 20-minute allocation, break times are purely at the discretion of the employer.

We recommend that security companies offer their operatives breaks as regularly as possible. It helps to keep them rested, calm, and ready to react to a threat in a fast and efficient manner. It is also beneficial to both their physical and mental health. Rest breaks should, in our opinion, last as long as possible, and those operatives who are forced to stand for long periods, should be allowed to sit comfortably for at least 20 minutes.

Young workers, work experiencers, some interns, and most apprentices are subject to a slightly different set of rules. Whilst still under the age of 18, these workers can only work a maximum of 8 hours a day, and 40 hours a week. They are entitled to a 30-minute break once they have worked 4.5 hours, 12 hours’ rest in any 24-hour period in which they work, and 48 hours (taken consecutively) of rest each week.

Issues at Work

At work (as in life) it is generally good practice to bring any issues you may have with somebody directly to that person, rather than taking any other channels. Many professional concerns you have should be informally raised with your employer, manager, or supervisor before any subsequent actions are taken.

By ‘informally’, we mean anything from a quick, quiet chat to a previously arranged meeting. It is a good idea to privately keep a brief record of the time, date, and contents of this conversation as well.

If the issue requires a meeting, we strongly advise you to do some research before attending. Find out what the law allows, and does not allow, regarding the issue you’re experiencing. You should also bring copies of any relevant evidence with you. If possible, suggest a strategy for improving the situation. Be sure to explain what the issue is, as well as what the ramifications could be if it continues to be ignored, or the situation is allowed to worsen. For example, if H&S policies are being violated, people could be hurt, and the company could be made formally accountable.

If the informal approach fails to yield any substantive change, formal proceedings must be undertaken. This is called ‘raising a grievance‘. In some extreme cases (for example, an employee has been the victim of sexual harassment or discrimination from their manager or supervisor, and therefore does not feel comfortable raising the issue informally), a grievance may be raised without an informal discussion, but not usually.

Your workplace will have a grievance procedure in place. This must be available to you in writing and followed as closely as possible. The claims you have made will then be formally investigated by relevant parties within the company. You will also be consulted before a final decision is made. You will have the option to appeal or dispute the final decision, should you wish to.

It’s worth remembering at this point that running a company is a difficult task. It’s very tough to create a set of rules that apply to everybody and satisfy everybody’s needs. This does not excuse negative company cultures (such as callousness or bigotry), or toxic behaviour. However, many issues may be simple oversights that, once brought to the attention of the right people, can be corrected with some well-chosen words, a few policy changes, and some decent management skills.

At any stage during this procedure, from informal discussion through to the end of the grievance process, you may request help or support from colleagues, union representatives (if you are a member), or outside mediation (whereby a neutral party is brought in and works with both sides to achieve a solution).

Cases of discrimination are treated very seriously by UK law. People are most commonly discriminated against due to their race, nationality, cultural heritage, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, disabilities and becoming pregnant. Each of these characteristics is protected by UK law, making discrimination unambiguously illegal in any British workplace.

Discrimination is never acceptable in any environment, least of all a professional one. Should you be subject to, or bear witness to such discrimination from a colleague or manager, you have a duty to report it immediately. Employee discrimination ruins companies, and can even destroy lives, so treat it seriously.

Workplace bullying and harassment are also serious issues that can be very destructive. Workplace bullying can include physical aggression (although this will more likely qualify as assault), unfair treatment, the ‘singling out’ of a specific person (or people) for unpleasant tasks, mean-spirited comments or ‘jokes’, regularly undermining someone, or denying training or promotion opportunities without cause.

Bullying is not illegal, largely because it is rather difficult to formally define. However, harassment is a crime under UK law. ‘Harassment’ is said to have occurred when the cause of the bullying is related to discrimination (specifically one of the protected characteristics detailed above). In cases of workplace bullying or harassment, it is advisable to either follow the procedure described earlier, or else to make a formal complaint to your company’s H.R department.

Unfair Dismissal

When an employee is dismissed (the formal name for being ‘sacked’, ‘let go’, or ‘fired’), it means that the employer has formally ended the contract between themselves and their employee. This can only be done with a valid reason, and the employer must follow procedure to do it.

The employer has a duty to be as fair as possible throughout the process of dismissal. They must explain to the employee why they have been dismissed, give them formal notice as to when their contract will end, and notify them that they have the right to appeal the decision, should they wish to.

Should the employer fail to follow proper procedure in this, or other, aspects of the dismissal, it may be considered a case of unfair dismissal, even if the reason for the initial dismissal was legally valid.

In the UK, valid reasons for dismissal may include being unable to do your job, being unable to adapt to changing equipment, technology, or standards of behaviour, being discriminatory or abusive to others, or not getting along with your colleagues. You may also be dismissed if you have missed too much time due to long-term illness. In such cases, however, your employer first has a duty to reach out to you and try to help.

Before a dismissal occurs, your employer is duty-bound to follow existing disciplinary procedures and offer you a chance to improve.

Redundancy is considered a fair dismissal in most cases but can be considered unfair if the reason you were selected for redundancy is discriminatory.

A ‘summary dismissal’ (essentially an ‘instant firing’ that avoids the usual procedures, as well as the option to appeal) occurs when a person has behaved completely inexcusably (for example, striking a customer or colleague). This will be considered a fair dismissal in most cases.

You may also be dismissed if you become unable to do your job for some reason (if, for example, you’re a driver who loses their driving license), if the company becomes unable to employ you (for example, it ceases trading), or if you’re sent to prison.

Disputes Over Pay

Another common issue at work is that of payment. Sometimes, an employer and their employee will disagree over how much money the former owes the latter.

If this happens to you, the first thing to do is double-check your hours and hourly rate against your payslip. Read the payslip carefully, keeping a lookout for any deductions that may have affected the final amount. If you can find nothing to explain it, the next thing to do is approach your manager, who should be able to either explain the cause of the problem or get in touch with the payroll department about issuing the extra funds.

However, if the problem is not solved, you have the legal right to challenge your employer for the missing amount. This should be done as soon as possible. It should, in most cases, be possible to prove that you worked the hours you claim to have worked (for example, by using a ‘sign-in sheet’) and using that to make your case. If you have proven that you are owed the money, but the funds are not forthcoming, you may raise a grievance (as described above) or speak to a union rep (if you have one).

If these options are not applicable, or fail to yield fruit, you may take your employer to a tribunal. This amounts to taking legal action against your employer and must be done within 3 months of the payslip being issued. It can be a stressful, time consuming, and expensive process, so this should only ever be used as a last resort.

This is a period of change for worker’s rights in the UK. As always, it pays to know what you are and are not entitled to, as well as what your employer’s responsibilities toward you are. We hope this guide has been a useful source of information for you.will