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The Wages (Northern Ireland) Order 1988

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General restrictions on deductions made, or payments received, by employers

3.—(1) An employer shall not make any deduction from any wages of any worker employed by him unless the deduction satisfies one of the following conditions, namely—

(a)it is required or authorised to be made by virtue of any statutory provision or any relevant provision of the worker’s contract; or

(b)the worker has previously signified in writing his agreement or consent to the making of it.

(2) An employer shall not receive any payment from any worker employed by him unless the payment satisfies one of the conditions set out in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph (1).

(3) In this Article “relevant provision”, in relation to a worker’s contract, means any provision of the contract comprised—

(a)in one or more written terms of the contract of which the employer has given the worker a copy on any occasion prior to the employer making the deduction in question, or (where paragraph (1)(a) applies for the purposes of paragraph (2)) prior to his receiving the payment in question, or

(b)in one or more terms of the contract (whether express or implied and, if express, whether oral or in writing) whose existence and effect, or (as the case may be) combined effect, in relation to the worker the employer has notified to the worker in writing on any such occasion.

(4) For the purposes of this Article—

(a)any relevant provision of a worker’s contract having effect by virtue of any variation of the contract, or

(b)any agreement or consent signified by a worker as mentioned in paragraph (1)(b), shall not operate to authorise the making of any deduction, or the receipt of any payment, on account of any conduct of the worker, or any other event occurring, before the variation took effect or (as the case may be) the agreement or consent was signified.

(5) Nothing in this Article applies—

(a)to any deduction from a worker’s wages made by his employer, or any payment received from a worker by his employer, where the purpose of the deduction or payment is the reimbursement of the employer in respect of—

(i)any overpayment of wages, or

(ii)any overpayment in respect of expenses incurred by the worker in carrying out his employment, made (for any reason) by the employer to the worker;

(b)to any deduction from a worker’s wages made by his employer, or any payment received from a worker by his employer, in consequence of any disciplinary proceedings if those proceedings were held by virtue of any statutory provision;

(c)to any deduction from a worker’s wages made by his employer in pursuance of any requirement imposed on the employer by any statutory provision to deduct and pay over to a public authority amounts determined by that authority as being due to it from the worker, if the deduction is made in accordance with the relevant determination of that authority;

(d)to any deduction from a worker’s wages made by his employer in pursuance of any arrangements which have been established—

(i)in accordance with any relevant provision of his contract to whose inclusion in the contract the worker has signified his agreement or consent in writing, or

(ii)otherwise with the prior agreement or consent of the worker signified in writing, and under which the employer is to deduct and pay over to a third person amounts notified to the employer by that person as being due to him from the worker, if the deduction is made in accordance with the relevant notification by that person;

(e)to any deduction from a worker’s wages made by his employer, or any payment received from a worker by his employer, where the worker has taken part in a strike or other industrial action and the deduction is made, or the payment has been required, by the employer on account of the worker’s having taken part in that strike or other action; or

(f)to any deduction from a worker’s wages made by his employer with his prior agreement or consent signified in writing, or any payment received from a worker by his employer, where the purpose of the deduction or payment is the satisfaction (whether wholly or in part) of an order of a court or tribunal requiring the payment of any amount by the worker to the employer.

(6) This Article is without prejudice to any other statutory provision by virtue of which any sum payable to a worker by his employer but not falling within the definition of “wages” in Article 9 is not to be subject to any deduction at the instance of the employer.

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