What to do if employer does not pay salary on Time

What can you do if your employer does not pay your salary or infinitely delays it?

Employer must pay interest if salary is delayed: HC 

The employer must pay a reasonable interest if a payment, due to the employee, is made late, the Bombay High Court has held.


Whether the service contract of the employee provides for payment of interest is immaterial, said the division bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and C L Pangarkar.

Petitioner Yuvraj N Rodye was working with the Maharashtra State Electricity Board since 1975.

In 1989, Royde became entitled for arrears of salary from August 1975 onwards.

However, for no justifiable reason, the payment was delayed. It was only in September 1994 that he was told to collect his dues.

He received the amount, but applied for getting interest for the period of delay.

It is quite common in India for employers to deny salary to employees, especially at the time of firing them. They think that employee’s have no options or the resources to pursue a case against an employer. In reality, there are several things an employee can do that can land an employer in real trouble. However, the knowledge regarding the same is not available in public domain and lawyer’s advice come costly.

There are several legal process that can be followed by an employee to recover salary or wages. The first step that we recommend is sending a good notice from a credible lawyer  who has a track record of doing such matters. However, before we tell you more about that, let us get you introduced to some basic concepts in Indian labour laws that deal with the issues of non-payment of wages or salary.

India has an entire law on payment of salary called Payment of Wages Act, though it does not apply to all levels of employees. It usually applies to low-wage blue caller workers.

Effective September 11, 2012, the wage ceiling under the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 was increased to an average wage ceiling of INR 18,000 per month pursuant to a notification by the Indian Government. If you are not covered under this act, other remedies are still available.



Let’s see what the Payment of Wages Act has to say in this matter.

Section 4 of the payment of wages Act states – 

Fixation of wage period every person responsible for the payment of wages under Section 3 shall fix periods in respect of which such wages shall be payable. No wage period shall exceed one month.

Monthly Salary Distribution Requirements:

  • A person is working in an establishment with a wage not more than one thousand, the wage to the particular person shall be paid before the expiry of the seventh day.
  • A person with the wage of more than one thousand shall be paid before the expiry of the tenth day.
  • If the employee is terminated by the employer the wages earned by him shall be paid before the expiry of the second working day from the day his employment is terminated.

What steps can be taken by employee:

If your employer is not paying your salary, you can get these remedies.

A) Approach Labour Commissioner:

If an employer doesn’t pay up your salary, you can approach the labour commissioner. They will help you to reconcile this matter and if no solution is reached labour commissioner will hand over this matter to the court whereby a case against your employer may be pursued.

B) Industrial Dispute Act:

  • An employee can file a suit under Section 33(c) of Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 recovery of money due from an employer.
  • When the salary is due from the employer, the employee himself or any other person authorized by him in writing on his behalf can claim recover money.
  • In case of the employee death, the authorized person or heirs make an application to the labour court for recovery of money due.
  • The court will further issue a certificate on being satisfied that the salary is due and the collector shall proceed to recover the same.
  • If any question arises as to the amount of money due or as to the amount at which such benefit should be computed, it would be computed according to rules under this Act.

Labour Court Time Line:



Cases have to be decided by such labour court within period not exceeding Three Months provided that where the presiding officer of a labour court considers it necessary or expedient so to do, he may for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend such period by such further period as may he think fit.

What about executives, managers and those who earn above INR 18,000 a month?

If you are manager or executive level employee, you can file a case against the company in the civil court under order 37 of Court of civil procedure. This is faster than the usual slow procedure in civil courts, called a summary suit. It is quite effective, but should not be pursued as a first resort. There are easier things at your disposal as well. Out of 100 cases, maybe 5-7 requires such effort. However, many lawyers are quick to jump to this. Before opting for this, ask your lawyer to exhaust other means.

What if company is not paying with a fraudulent or dishonest intent?

If an employee is affected by the company’s fraudulent activities, then he may seek some strong actions.

The following remedies would be available in such cases:

Employer Fraud Punishment:


  • Section 447 of Companies Act, 2013 lays down punishment for fraud.
  • Person shall be liable for imprisonment not less than 6 months which may extend to 10 years.
  • Fine not less than amount involved in fraud which may extend upto three times of the fraud amount.
  • Subsequent measures can be taken under Section 447 of the Act.
  • An employee can also file a criminal case against the company under Indian Penal Code.

First Step To recover unpaid salary

Step 1: We strongly recommend sending a legal notice enumerating all the actions that you may take from a credible lawyer. Before going to a lawyer, ensure that they have some track record in doing such work.

Step 2: If this does not work, approaching police for a cheating case, where there is enough evidence for such fraud, is critical. At this stage, it is important to prepare a detailed case file to give to police, and your lawyer should assist you in this. A majority of such complaints are not accepted due to weak drafting and lack of prima facie evidence. This is where a good lawyer can make a lot of difference.

Step 3: Where criminal case is not an option, or does not produce results, we recommend going for a summary suit or labour court, as the case may be. In our experience of handling such matters in large numbers, we can say that not more than 10% of such disputes need to go to this stage if the matter was handled well in earlier stages. Challenge is that lawyers are more comfortable and earns more money at this stage, so if they don’t have your interest in mind they might hurry to this stage.


Important things to keep in mind when you are trying to recover your unpaid salary

The notice is a very important psychological tool, and getting the salary in less time is a psychological game. If the employer understands the consequences quickly, he will settle before you need to go to court, which keeps costs low as well. However, only a few lawyers do this kind of work because it may not be very profitable for them.

There are many cases in India where employer does not pay salary for a month or couple of months and easily get away with the same. A good example is of Kingfisher Airlines. When it shut down its operations, many workers were not paid their dues.

56 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much for this articals my last comoany that is oksir e com pbt ltd is not paying my salary from the kast 3 month now i have option of a civil court.

    • there are many cases which goes unnotice , MY Salary was not paid by TTK Prestige ,and Frankfinn Rs 9500/- and 12500/-

  2. It’s very good for the employees like me where we do our job sincerely and honestly but the employer doesn’t understand the employee problems holding our salaries without intimating us and i thank you people to realise that there someone who is there to help us.

  3. what is the rule of LOSS OF PAY. My case it was recovered due to not updated my attendance register (system. manual register is correct)during the last month. Please give a reply immediately

  4. Raheja Developers also not giving salary on time , even they have not given employee F & F from last one year. This law will be applicable on real estate industry strongly. …

  5. There is a company named Indus Logix India Pvt Ltd. Located Suit # 217 & 218, SDF Building Block EP & GP, Sector-V, Salt Lake, Kolkata 700 091 (http://www.induslogix.in). This company make their employees work for 10-12 hours shift (Morning & Night) if by any means any employee fails to meet their target their salary is put on hold or the person gets a termination letter but they don’t get their salary. Even after repeated calls made to they still they don’t pay any head to them, I am one of the victim and few of my other friends who have not got their salary till now, even we approached the police station in Salt Lake but after talking to the Officer In-charge it was very clear that the police was not paying attention to our pleas and we did not even lodge an FIR as we all gave up.
    Thanks to you people please advise as to what to do in this kind of situation, I was so frustrated that I was feeling like go and hit the owner but that will go against us so we kept our calm, please show us some way so that we can save someone else from being victim like us in the hands of like these employers.

    • Dear Joseph sorry to hear
      your problem it happens in India disgusting people crooks. First collect all evidence of employment and then approach a lawyer. File a notice of all what happened. Call your employer bans record the call of his persuade him till he loses his cool. This will give u an edge over him. Make a group ofore people like u and file a suit for mental harrasment. Non payment not dues. Obstructing right to living by honest means and emotional trauma due to non-payment.beleivew me your owner will get goose bumps when he gets this notice by court he will be given time.to reply and then before that he will pay your dues. Remember media is a powerful tool email the news channels and make a video of all those who have suffered and mail it to the media you will get help. I got my 6 months salary like that from my owner who was a mafia.NEVER GIVE UP

  6. I Arindam ghosh working from Shkaunthala Sales in corporation (Address- 2E jadhulal mulick road Kolkatkata-07 ) Md name S.S.Naveen (09886026655). Previous years 2017 for the month August white out notice not to pay my salary four month and miss behavior by me. Kindly sir this matter are handle and as soon as possible solve this the matter.

  7. Last six months company was locked. Don’t displayed in proper notice. Employees union discussed in ACL and DCL no improvement. 280 employees in poor conditions and including me. No salary. What will do?

  8. Hello I have worked in reputed company for 2 years through contract and I left the job on my own intrest almost 1 year overed but the contractor is not clearing my bonus payment I mailed them and called them they are saying now we are not able to pay your bonus payment because you left our contract so in this case what can I do.

  9. I am working for Esjay Intl, Mumbai. My company do not pay salary on time. Jan salary is paid in the month of April or even later. If someone resigns his dues are also not paid on time.

  10. I was a govt servant and still govt servant in other department I worked up to June 2013 and went on study leave for higher studies for three yrs course but felt gave two yrs leave I requested again that course is of 3yrs. My pay was due of March April may three months of 2013 still not paid what should I do

  11. 1. Officers from the office of Labour commissioner , may be labour commissioner too, usually comes to the office of employers and take their monthly bribes, as such how can an employee fight for his rights.
    2. Now a days there are so may lower level NETAs who are also protecting employers and taking money from them, as such how an employee fight for his rights.
    Empolyees in punjab usually given very nominal wages and he is not able to sit free even for a week, as such how can an employee fight for his rights.
    According to above, all efforts made by Government or courts are useless.

    Jai Hind
    Pround to be an Indian

  12. sir my company not paid my salary since three month my company name is vincent Solar Energy in w-8, park street m.i. road jaipur sir what i do please help me my due salary amount is 32500 2 month and 5 day please help me my mob. 8952875056

  13. PAST 3 YEARS I HAVE LODGED A COMPLAINT TO LAB OUR COMMISSIONER AGAINST MY EX EMPLOYER FOR NOT PAYING MY LAST MONTH SALARY AND GRATUITY. THERE IS NO PROPER ACTION TAKEN ON EX EMPLOYER.SIMPLY THEY ARE SENDING NOTICE TO EMPLOYER.

    THEY ARE CHEATING THE LABOURS……..

  14. Dear Team,
    I had worked with Orange City Housing Finance Ltd salary not paid for 2 months.
    Kindly provide solution.

  15. Dear aTeam,
    I have worked with Orange City Housing Finance Ltd salary not paid for the 2 months.
    I want to file suit against them.As I have came in financial crunch….

  16. My salary not paid in my company.and wait 75 din but not receive.

    Please resolve the issue.

    Please provide the mail id.

    Regards, Chetan

  17. That is Same issues have two firm — Afore Technical Services Noida and Runbus Delhi No Both Company Cheater Fraud and Owner Lie person !!

  18. As I worked last company in Subham Erectors Pvt. Ltd. of Rihand nagar, Dist- Sonebhadra, UP; Company owner/ MD Sanjay Kumar Gupta (Mob- 9415628811) and company not paid me Salary till last 8 months + Site expend of 1,35,000/- . I am the Site Incharge of Company of his NTPC Site – Rihand (UP), Vindhya Nagar (MP) & Mouda, Nagpur (MH); when I speak on Phone call he always says when money comes from Vindhya Nagar Site he would pay but company pack-up from last 1 Year, What will I do?
    Just Like me in my company some other employees are not paid their Salary till now…

  19. DOES ANY 1 HAS CONTANT TO COMPLAINT AGAINST CORRUPTION
    COMPANY DOESN’T HAS FUND TO PAY SALARY BUT DEALS WITH SO MANY BIG CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN MUMBAI…IF ANY 1 HAS CONTACT REGARDING THIS ISSUE PLZ FORWARD MI ON
    +91 9769823160 MY NAME GEETESH
    TO SAVE TAX THIS PERSON GIVES SALARY IN CAsh and rest as per cheques as per tax slab
    cash is not given on time or some time employeees has to beeg for the same

  20. Dear Team,

    I have been working in Dept. of Telecom on contract basis through J.B. Security, Dwarika, New Delhi since 2016. The contract has not paid salary to all labour from Nov. 2017 to Feb. 2018 and terminate to all labour from service without any notice. We have lodged a complaint in Labour Commissioner, Dwarika, New Delhi against contractor, but delhi govt. has not taken any action in this regard.

    In these circumstance, what should we do in this matter..

  21. My employer force to me to submit resignation. But now I’m in medical leave. In a government hospital. I have esi facility. But they send me 2 warning letters.next is termination letter. How can I over come this situation. Please give me a rply

  22. ABHI BHI LOGON KO YEH MESSAGES NOT RECEIVED HUA HAI ISE AUR BHI SEND KARO MERI BHI COMPANY MEIN SALARY VOUCHER SE 4-5-6 BAAR KARKE MILTI HAI HUMNE AUGUST 2017 MEIN MODI KO LETTER LIKHA THA PAR KUCH NAHIN HUA

  23. My shalry in per month 50000 pr month
    my company Tikona Brodband wifi router salling for marketing Bussiness .

  24. I have been working in dept. Of circle office on outsourcing through data entry operator, Bokaro jharkhand. Sir my salary pending April and May 2018 SBC outsourcing company delhi

  25. Thanks , I have recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve found out till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  26. Dear Sir/Madam

    I have request you. that my brother working in Pune Under a sub- contractor and the sub- contractor is not payment to my elder brother from up 3 months

    so i hope you will assistance and fully support regarding my request

    Thanks & Regards
    Kush Kumar

  27. Thank you for providing awareness to employee.
    I afried, you people never addressed anywhere in your LAW, if an employee is lying and forcing the employer to put in trouble, you never addressed this. According our Indian Labour Laws only Employer is the sole Victim?
    There is no protection for Employer, in case employee is creating false allegations on Employer!

  28. Dear Friends, before approaching to Labour officer or filing case against firm, please ensure to keep all the documents (from initial offer letter, pay slips, bank statements, resignation/termination/relieving letter, etc.,) and conversation mails – All these proofs are useful to fight against employer. Because now a days, employers are not paying full an final settlement amount also. So be proactive and smart enough to get our money back (dues) from employer. As per CTC structure employers are not paying salaries and showing many deductions.
    Thanks

  29. I have worked with an organization for exactly 1 yr 11 days. As per my offer letter, there was a fixed Rs. X amount of retention bonus, where in 50% of x shall be given against completion of 6 months & balance 50% of X against completion of a year from the date of joining along with the salary.
    Note: The retention is no where connected to performance or any such.
    Of which the 1st set of retention bonus was paid after completion of my 6 months tenure. Exactly 20 days before completion of the year, I was told that the company is down sizing & was suggested to explore on opportunities outside. Against mutual consent I have got relieved in a months time, i.e my tenure of stay was 1 yr 10 days. However now the company denies paying me the remaining 50% of retention amount. The organization is denying saying it shall be counted as notice period and the notice duration is not counted in the tenure. But it is no where mentioned in the offer letter that, notice period is not counted under tenure of stay.
    Can I do something about it. Please suggest.

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