Nearly a quarter of British workers received wages late

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Of those who have been paid late, nearly half (49%) say it has happened more than once

More than a fifth (22%) of British workers claim bosses failed to pay their wages on time, which led to those staff suffering financial losses, according to research conducted by Cascade HR.

When wages arrived late just under two-thirds (61%) of respondents had been forced to borrow money from various sources, and 33% were unable to pay bills and direct debits. More than a quarter (27%) received late payment charges from their bank, and 21% were unable to cover basic living costs such as food and travel expenses.

When asked how they felt when they received their wages late the majority of workers said they were annoyed or extremely annoyed (86%). Only 11% stated they were not annoyed about being paid late, and 3% didn’t feel affected either way by the issue.

Of those who had been paid late, nearly half (49%) said it had happened more than once.

Gemma Reucroft, UK&I HR director for Tunstall Healthcare, told HR magazine that there are few situations where late payments are acceptable. “There may be times when an employer, perhaps in serious financial difficulty, is unable to pay its employees,” she said. “But outside of such rare circumstances it is completely unacceptable for employers not to pay their staff on time.

“While it might be a requirement that contracts of employment state when employees will be paid, there is little practical recourse open to people when this situation occurs other than to look for other work, and for many this is sometimes easier said than done. The impact on employees cannot be underestimated.

“For those without the safety net of savings or credit facilities not getting paid on time is nothing short of a crisis situation,” she added.

Oliver Shaw, CEO of Cascade HR, said that business owners are responsible for ensuring their staff are paid on time. “It’s extremely important that employers have a contingency plan in place so that if this situation was to arise it can be rectified quickly and consequences for workers are kept to a minimum.”

He said: “It’s concerning to see that within some companies late payments have happened on more than one occasion and workers are suffering as a result.”

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