Under Jersey Law if you employ a member of staff you are required to issue your employee with itemised pay statements. This includes if you employ students and part time staff.
A recent case has highlighted this issue: Lili Huckson and The Vault
Lili Huckson is a student and working for the Vault was her first job. She worked on average 10 hours a week and had agreed to be paid £9 an hour. She mainly worked shifts at the weekend often from 9am until 5pm. After two months of work she had received no pay. Understandably she raised this delay in payment with her employer and, when she eventually received her pay it did not reflect the hours she worked or the agreed rate of pay. This was again raised and a further payment was made to her. Again, and even with this second payment being added to the first, the amount paid to Lili in no way reflected what she had earned through her efforts and that was owed to her. Lili requested her pay statements in order to be able to understand the basis on which her pay had been calculated. Neither these nor an explanation as to how the payments were calculated were ever provided to her. She therefore issued proceedings in the Jersey Employment Tribunal.
The Tribunal understandably found in Lili’s favour. They therefore considered what the appropriate order would be in the circumstances. Article 54(1A) of the Jersey employment law gives the tribunal the power to order a Respondent to pay up to four weeks’ pay to a Claimant for a failure to provide payslips. Up to this point there was no guidance in the The Employment (Jersey) Law 2003 as to how to go about assessing where on the scale of up to four weeks’ pay any award should fall.
The Tribunal considered that an employee, if their wages are paid, may well suffer no financial loss by way of not receiving such a payslip and so the power to order a Respondent to pay a Claimant a sum of money would, in many if not most cases, be robbed of any effect if the award were to only reflect compensation for the losses actually incurred by the employee for not receiving the payslip. There must therefore be another reason for the power to order employers provide such statements and to pay compensation if they fail to do so. The Tribunal stated that it considered that the power under Art 54(1A) to be punitive in nature and is contained within the Law to provide a sanction on employers to provide their employees with payslips, and to comply with what is a minimal obligation.
Accordingly Jersey employers should be alive to the legal obligation to provide pay statements, which as the tribunal stated is a minimal obligation. This is not just an obligation as to full time employees but also to part time and student staff.
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