My employer withheld my pay, is this even legal?
Generally, an employer can't deduct from or withhold your pay without your agreement, except legally required deductions (like tax).
What if they did it without my agreement?
Even if you have caused damage, or slacked off deducting without your agreement could be unlawful. This could also affect your trust in your employer, the employment relationship, and result in you raising a personal grievance if its not resolved.
Why is this?
Employees' wages are protected under the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Paying employees correctly and on time is a fundamental responsibility of employers. This includes paying employees at least twice per month, with payment made either weekly, fortnightly, or monthly as agreed between the employer and employee. It's important to note that some awards or agreements may contain specific requirements regarding your industry's pay periods and payment dates.
Why else is this important?
Not only is this a legal requirement, but it is also a key aspect of maintaining a positive and productive work environment.
Late or missed payments can cause stress and financial hardship for employees, which can negatively impact their work performance and morale. By paying employees on time, employers demonstrate their commitment to their well-being and show that they value their contributions to the organization.
So what should I do if my employer doesn't pay me?
Raise it with your employer and ask for it to be remedied within a specific timeframe. If it can't be, then you may consider raising a grievance.