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Payment of Wages – Delay in Payment Results in Compensation

In this case of ,Kamile Puodziulaityte v Word Perfect Translations Limited ADJ-00031254, the complainant alleged she was owed three month’s salary (September, October and November) and that her employer stated she needed a PPSN number to be paid. The complainant tried to explain that emergency tax could be applied until her PPSN number arrived. The complainant was subsequently paid in January after she lodged her claim to the Workplace Relations Commission.

The respondent employer argued that as the complainant had been paid her three month’s salary, that there was not breach of the Payment of Wages Act 1991 (as amended). The Adjudicator of the Workplace Relations Commission however found that despite payments made, the complainant was entitled to be paid on the dates outlined in her contract and awarded her €300 for failure by the respondent employer to pay her on time.

Although the award was only small in this case, it could be argued that had the complainant resigned and claimed constructive dismissal due to the failure to pay her salary leading to a fundamental breach of her employment contract, that there may have been merit in that case. Employers need to be mindful of their obligations under the Payment of Wages Act 1991 and the fact that payment of salary in return for work is fundamental to the working relationship between employers and employees.

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