Would it be lawful for a contract of employment to make payment of salary conditional upon the employee fulfilling their obligations and duties?Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 3 August 2021 Issues covered: Conditions of Pay; Contractual Duties
There is a duty to pay wages when an employee is ready, willing and able to work. This is the case irrespective of whether there is work for them to do or not. Case law states that work and wages go hand-in-hand. In short, if the employer declines to pay, the worker need not work. If the worker declines to work, the employer need not pay.
The employer is obliged to pay the employee if they do some work, whether or not the work done reflects all of their contractual duties. However, the employer may be entitled to reduce the amount of pay to reflect the duties that have not been performed but this will depend on the wording in the contract of employment.
There are certain limitations to the
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