Why can an employer withhold a paycheck?

Employer does not pay: what to do?

The important things in brief

  • The employer pays not on time, partially or completely not, workers have several options.
  • Workers should step their boss their first written including a deadline for payment. Make sure to state the gross salary!
  • You can even, under certain conditions Interest and Damages demand and refuse to work.
  • As a final measure, you can check your missing salary before Labor court sue.
  • Financial and legal support is available here Labor legal protection insurance.

What to do if the employer doesn't pay

If the employer doesn't pay, you should let as little time as possible go by and react fast. Because in quite a few cases the missing wage or the missing salary is not an oversight. A lawsuit before the labor court should always be the last of possible steps be.

Important: Always ask your employer for a date by which the salary should have been credited to the account.

Seek the conversation

The salary is not always missing on the account because the employer withheld the transfer. Even if it may seem improbable to one or the other employee: A transfer error by accounting or a problem on the part of the Bank are quite possible. That is why you should first seek a personal interview.

Especially if you've been around for a long time work together trustingly, you should first assume that you have made a mistake. However, patience and understanding should have limits, because the salary or wages belong to that Main obligation to perform of the employer.

Prepare yourself!

Before talking to the employer, you should take a look at their employment contract throw. Because many contracts contain Deadlinesin which outstanding payments must be claimed. If you let these deadlines pass, you may lose your entitlement to the money. Also can special agreement on the date of payment of the wages that you simply no longer have in mind at the moment.

Remind the unpaid salary

If the interview did not lead to a satisfactory result and the employer still did not pay the salary afterwards, you should send a reminder about the missing salary. To do this, write a written reminder. Under certain circumstances, this can also be important for the further procedure.

The reminder letter should contain:

  • the remindered monthly gross salary (or gross salary for the corresponding period)
  • Deadline for receipt of payment (generally 7 days)

In principle, employees have the right to refuse to work if they fail to pay their wages. This is based on the Right of retention according to § 273 BGB. However, some apply to this requirements. You can only refuse to work if:

  • At least 2-3 complete monthly salaries are absent
  • Your refusal to work does not cause disproportionately high economic damage to the company
  • the delay in payment is unlikely to be short-term
  • they are not bankruptcy claims

If you rightly refuse to work, the employer can do so too do not prosecute or even terminate. You must be your boss, however inform in writingwhen you actually stay away from work

Demand interest and damages

If the employer still does not pay, he is in default - you as an employee are therefore entitled to demand interest on the outstanding salary 5 percentage points above the base rate per year. Here you can, for example, calculate the interest on arrears.

In addition, the employer usually has to pay compensation for the damage suffered by the employee due to the failure to pay wages, among other things Tax disadvantages or Overdraft interest on the current account.

You can file a lawsuit at the labor court in the legal application office Submit. This is sometimes even possible orally: the clerk records the complaint in writing and then has the document signed by the plaintiff.

Once the lawsuit has been filed, the court sends the statement of claim to the employer. In the application, a so-called Quality date at which the matter will be discussed. On this date, both sides can already come to an amicable agreement. The procedure is then ended. If this is not the case, another will be made Appointment in front of the chamber established, in which evidence is viewed and, if necessary, witnesses are heard. An amicable agreement is also possible at this appointment. If this does not happen on this date either, the chamber will pass a judgment.

Apply for unemployment benefit

Even if you are still employed, you can still receive unemployment benefits because of the Nonetheless apply if the employer does not pay the wages. However, this assumes that you unemployed are. In this case, you will only be if you have made use of your right of retention or are no longer used in your company.

Apply for bankruptcy money

If the employer does not pay you your salary because he is simply unable to do so, you are entitled to insolvency money. You make this claim at the employment agency. The prerequisite is that Bankruptcy proceedings is opened through the employer and the Operation completely discontinued has been. More about it here.

In principle, you can terminate the contract without notice if there are outstanding salary payments. However, this is justified if:

  • at least 2 months' salary outstanding
  • You have previously reminded your employer to pay

If this is fulfilled, you can give notice of termination of the employment contract without notice - but your employer is still entitled to you damages Committed. In the best case, seek legal advice.

Labor legal protection insurance protects against legal and court costs

An industrial legal protection insurance covers, for example, the costs for the lawyer, the court costs and the fees of the other party in the event of a lost trial. If you already have a private legal protection insurance, this can cover the area of ​​labor legal protection be expanded. If necessary, speak to your consultant from transparent-beraten.de directly.

Important: However, the labor legal protection insurance must be concluded in good time, as the so-called waiting period applies. For the area of ​​labor law this is 3 months. Only legal cases after this waiting period will be covered by the insurance.

Compare labor rights protection tariffs now for free

The Test winner 2021 from Stiftung Warentest, Ökotest and Focus Money in comparison.

If the employer doesn't pay on time

No more default lump sums for employees

Until 2018, the employee was still entitled to lump-sum compensation of 40 euros in the event of late payment of wages. However, the Federal Labor Court ruled in favor of the employer: the lump sum for arrears no longer exists (source).

Request payment in writing

This means that the employee also has the opportunity here to request payment of the salary in writing. To do this, write out a letter stating the amount owed and a Payment term contains. If the employer does not investigate, you can file a complaint with the labor court.

Who can help with problems with the employer?

When part of the salary is not paid

The payment of wages or salaries is part of what is known as the main obligation of the employer. If part of the salary is missing, this is one Breach of duty, in which the employee can proceed in the same way as with the complete suspension of the salary or wage payment. Please note the relevant section above.

Can the employer reduce the salary if the employee is absent without excuse?

If employees are absent without excuse, the employer has various options for sanctioning this. He can do one Warning pronounce. If the person concerned is absent more often than not, this can, in the worst case, lead to one termination to lead. Apart from that, there is also the possibility of the Salary to reduce the affected absenteeism.

What the employer can ask if you fall ill before your vacation

What to do if the salary is missing after the termination?

Regardless of whether the employee or the employer resigns, both parties are obliged to perform their services. It happens again and again, however, that employers do not pay the final salary if the termination came from the employee. In this case, employees have the same opportunities, as described above. However, a personal conversation does not necessarily have to be sought here.

Make a written request

Affected employees can also contact the former employer directly request in writing to pay the missing salary. The letter should contain a Deadline can be set within which the salary should have been received on the account. Depending on how the relationship with the employer is or was, the letter can also contain a reference to the further steps to be taken if the salary is not paid.

Make use of your rights as an employee

If the Employer doesn't pay - Whether in parts, late or not at all, employees can take action against it. If the employment relationship still exists, an interview should be sought first. It may be an error on the part of the accounting department or the bank. Otherwise, the employee can submit a written reminder or request to the boss. If the mistake actually lies with the boss, you can remind him to pay and even demand interest and damages.

Last resort: lawsuit before the labor court

If this does not help either and there is no agreement in sight, employees can sue the labor court. Missing salary payments are one of the most common problems with employers in labor law. Who timely one Labor legal protection insurance can count on legal and financial support.

Please note: This article does not replace legal or other specialist advice. All information in this article is without guarantee.

The most common questions about employer does not pay

How long is an employer not allowed to pay wages?

Employers are generally obliged to pay the salary at the end of a predetermined period of time. Usually these are months, so the employer has to pay the salary at the end of the month. The wages are due from the first day of the following month, unless something else has been agreed in the employment or collective bargaining agreement. It is not uncommon for a deadline of the 15th of the following month to be agreed.

What can I do if my salary is not paid on time?

Until 2018, employees were still entitled to a lump-sum payment of 40 euros. However, this no longer applies. Affected employees can request their employer in writing to pay or take legal action before the labor court.

Can I refuse to work if the employer doesn't pay?

Basically, you actually can. According to Section 273 of the German Civil Code, you have a right of retention: This means that if your employer refuses to pay your wages, you can refuse to work. However, this only applies if at least 2-3 months' salary is missing and the company is not inflicted disproportionately high economic damage. If you stay away from work, you must also inform your employer in writing.

Problems with the employer: who will help?
Anyone who has problems with their employer can turn to a number of contact points - either external bodies or those responsible within the company: The following [...]
Read post
Labor legal protection insurance
This often involves legal disputes with the employer. If labor or professional legal protection is also insured, the insurer may take over [...]
Read post
Sick before vacation: what rights do I have as an employee?
If you fall ill before going on holiday, you have to call in sick according to the company's internal guidelines. These are often stipulated in the employment contract and [...]
Read post

Did you find it all?

Here you will find further interesting content on the topic:

Quick question, criticism or feedback?

Although we cannot advise you explicitly on the topic, we are open to suggestions for improvement or comments that you have on this article. Please write us an email: