Payment of Wages Act, 1991

Complaints by employees in relation to contraventions of section 5 by their employers.

6.—(1) An employee may present a complaint to a rights commissioner that his employer has contravened section 5 in relation to him and, if he does so, the commissioner shall give the parties an opportunity to be heard by him and to present to him any evidence relevant to the complaint, shall give a decision in writing in relation to it and shall communicate the decision to the parties.

(2) Where a rights commissioner decides, as respects a complaint under this section in relation to a deduction made by an employer from the wages of an employee or the receipt from an employee by an employer of a payment, that the complaint is well-founded in regard to the whole or a part of the deduction or payment, the commissioner shall order the employer to pay to the employee compensation of such amount (if any) as he thinks reasonable in the circumstances not exceeding—

(a) the net amount of the wages (after the making of any lawful deduction therefrom) that—

(i) in case the complaint related to a deduction, would have been paid to the employee in respect of the week immediately preceding the date of the deduction if the deduction had not been made, or

(ii) in case the complaint related to a payment, were paid to the employee in respect of the week immediately preceding the date of payment,


(b) if the amount of the deduction or payment is greater than the amount referred to in paragraph (a), twice the former amount.

(3) (a) A rights commissioner shall not give a decision under this section in relation to a deduction or payment referred to in subsection (2) at any time after the commencement of the hearing of proceedings in a court brought by the employee concerned in respect of the deduction or payment.

(b) An employee shall not be entitled to recover any amount in proceedings in a court in respect of such a deduction or payment as aforesaid at any time after a rights commissioner has given a decision under this section in relation to the deduction or payment.

(4) A rights commissioner shall not entertain a complaint under this section unless it is presented to him within the period of 6 months beginning on the date of the contravention to which the complaint relates or (in a case where the rights commissioner is satisfied that exceptional circumstances prevented the presentation of the complaint within the period aforesaid) such further period not exceeding 6 months as the rights commissioner considers reasonable.

(5) (a) A complaint shall be presented by giving notice thereof in writing to a rights commissioner and the notice shall contain such particulars and be in such form as may be specified from time to time by the Minister.

(b) A copy of a notice under paragraph (a) shall be given to the other party concerned by the rights commissioner concerned.

(6) Proceedings under this section before a rights commissioner shall be conducted in public unless, and to the extent that, the commissioner, on application to him in that behalf by a party to the proceedings, decides otherwise.

(7) A rights commissioner shall furnish the Tribunal with a copy of any decision given by him under subsection (1).

(8) The Minister may by regulations provide for any matters relating to proceedings under this section that he considers appropriate.