• Robert Spicer

Wages: unlawful deduction: limitation period

WAGES

Deductions

Time limit for claims

Case Coletta v Bath Hill Court (Bournemouth) Property Management Ltd (2018 Morning Star, June 15, EAT

Facts C started work as a porter for B in 2000. In 2014 he started tribunal proceedings claiming that he had been paid below the National Minimum Wage for the entire period of his employment, totalling 15 years. The ET upheld his claim but ruled that his ward could only be backdated to six years before the start of proceedings because of section 9 of the Limitation Act. He appealed to the EAT, arguing that section 9 was disapplied by section 39 of the Act, which states that section 9 does not apply to a claim which has another limitation period under another statute. The other limitation period was set out in section 23 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 which provides a three-month time limit from the last deduction in a claim involving a series of deductions.

Decision 1. The appeal was allowed.

  1. Section 23 applied and section 9 did not.

  2. If there had been a series of deductions, then the three-month limit applied.

  3. For claims brought before January 2015, there was no limitation on arrears as long as the claim was brought before the time limit.

  4. A two-year time limit was introduced by the Deductions from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014.



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