Can an employer fine an employee for misconduct?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 7 December 2021
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Misconduct; Employee contracts; Deduction of Wages

There are a number of potential hurdles that could face an employer trying to enforce a contractual clause that allows them to fine employees and deduct those fines from wages. The first is that the clause may be considered a penalty clause. The general rule against penalty clauses means that such a clause would be unenforceable if the detriment is out of all proportion to any legitimate interest of the innocent party in the enforcement of the primary obligation, particularly if it doesn’t bear any relation to the loss suffered by the employer as a result of the breach.

Secondly, it is possible that the enforcement of a clause which involves fining employees for misconduct could be

Already a subscriber?

Click here to login and access the full article.

Don't miss out, register today!

Are you fully aware of the benefits of Legal-Island's Employment Law Update Service? We help hundreds of people like you understand how the latest changes in employment law impact on your business.

Help understand the ramifications of each important case from NI, GB and Europe

24/7 access to all the content in the Legal Island Vault for research case law and HR issues

Ensure your organisation’s policies and procedures are fully compliant with NI law

Receive free preliminary advice on workplace issues from the employment team at Worthingtons Solicitors

Already a subscriber, now or Register

Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 07/12/2021

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

View all articles by Chris Fullerton