When you have performed labour as an employee, you are entitled to wages. The specifications surrounding the payment of wages are regulated in the employment contract. If the employer does not pay the wages (on time), it is in default and you can file a wage claim.
When to file wage claim?
There are several reasons why an employer refuses to pay wages. First, there may be an employer’s inability to pay. In this case, the employer does not have the money to pay wages. A wage claim will not be a solution in this case. You are better off filing for bankruptcy of the employer in this situation.
Furthermore, an employment contract may also include a salary exclusion clause. This means that you will not be paid for the hours you did not work. You can then also not claim wages for these hours.
The main rule in determining whether a wage claim can be brought is that you are entitled to wages in exchange for work rendered. If no wages have been paid, a wage claim is likely to succeed.
Even when sick, the employer is obliged (with the exception of waiting days) to continue paying wages. This obligation applies for up to 2 years from the 1e day of reporting sick. In doing so, the employer is not allowed to stop paying wages. If this does happen, you can file a wage claim. However, an exception may arise here for the first two ‘sick’ days. This is the case if the concept of ‘waiting days’ is included in the employment contract or CAO. This means that in the first 2 days of reporting sick, the employer is not obliged to pay wages. You cannot then claim wages over these 2 days.
Also in case of dismissal, the employer is obliged to continue paying wages until the day before the dismissal takes effect. This obligation also applies if you as an employee are suspended until the date of dismissal, and therefore do not perform any work until then. If your employer refuses to pay wages for the period up to the date of dismissal, you can file a wage claim.
Sample letter of wage claim
Given the above, are you entitled to a wage claim? If so, first contact your employer (by phone) and ask if they will still transfer the wages. Is the overdue amount still not paid? Then you can send a wage claim letter to your employer. In this letter, you give your employer (usually) 7 days to still pay the wages.
Note that if you do not file a claim within 5 years to claim back wages, the claim will be time-barred! So it is wise to file a wage claim in time.
You can use our sample letter for this purpose:
Postal code and city
Postal code and city
Subject: letter wage claim
Dear Mr/Ms [employer name],
Since [date of employment], I have been employed by [name of company] under an employment contract. I am employed for [number of hours] per week in the position of [position].
Through this letter, I wish to inform you that to date I have not received my salary for the period from [date] to [date]. For this reason, I am sending you my request for wage claim.
After being contacted by telephone, you did not proceed with payment. The salary should, according to the employment contract, have been paid on [date], but this has not happened. You are thus [days/months] in default of payment and the salary arrears have increased to [amount].
I request and if necessary summon you to transfer the overdue salary immediately, or at the latest within 7 days from the date of this letter, to [account number] and to send me the pay slips for [month(s)].
In case of non-payment within the said period, I claim the statutory increase (Section 7:625 of the Civil Code) and statutory interest.
Awaiting your response,
After reading this blog, do you still have questions about filing a wage claim or questions about the wage claim procedure? If so, please contact us. Our employment lawyers will be happy to help you!