What to do if your salary is delayed

What are the rules for paying salaries?

Salary must be paid at least every half a month. Although it is possible to give out money more often, but vice versa it is impossible. Moreover, the entire amount for the previous month must be transferred to the employee no later than the 15th day of the next. Specific days are chosen by the employer, but they are prescribed either in the payment regulation or in the employment contract . That is, a person knows exactly until what date he receives his money.

For example, salaries can be paid as follows: on the 20th of the first part, which in everyday life is called an advance, and on the 5th of the next month – the remainder. If the desired date falls on a weekend, the money is issued on the last working day before it.

How long can an employer withhold wages?

Sometimes there is information in the media that the company can postpone payments for up to 15 days. This is not entirely true.

You can’t withhold wages.

However, if an employee deprived of money is impatient to act, he will first have to wait two weeks. We’ll talk more about what you can do below.

What can you expect if your salary is delayed?

For compensation for each day of delay

It is calculated from the first day after the date you should have received your money. Compensation will be no less than 1/150 of the current key rate of the debt amount. The company can increase it, but not reduce it.

For example, at the time of writing, the key rate is 8% . If a company owes an employee 30 thousand rubles, then compensation for one day of delay will be at least 16 rubles. The larger the amount or term, the larger the payout.

To stop working while maintaining average earnings

If the money is not transferred for 15 days, you can send the employer a written notice of such intention. It is compiled in free form and may look something like in the sample . Make sure that you put a mark on the receipt of the document on its second copy or send it by mail with an acknowledgment of receipt and a description of the attachment. Otherwise, the boss can then pretend that he did not receive anything, and fire you for absenteeism .

After submitting a paper for work, you can not go until you receive a written notice from the employer. In it, he must express his readiness to pay off the debt on the day you return to duty. True, not everyone can afford to be absent. This should not be done by civil servants, the military, rescuers and everyone who ensures the normal life of people.

For the days of suspension of work, you should be charged average earnings.

Where to complain if salary is delayed

If the money is not paid within 15 days, you can send claims.


Send an application to the head of the company with a request to pay you a salary. Here, as with the notification above, it is important to get confirmation that the paper has reached the addressee.

It sounds a little absurd – the employer already knows what he owes you. But this is an investment in the future. If you go to complain to the regulatory authorities, you will have proof that you tried to solve everything peacefully.

To the labor inspectorate

You can complain online on a special service of the department , as well as in person or by phone. Look for contacts on the website of the local department of the state labor inspectorate.

The labor inspectorate must check the employer and issue him an order for the payment of wages. And if there are grounds – to bring to administrative responsibility. Violation of labor legislation is fraught with a fine : from 1,000 to 5,000 rubles for individual entrepreneurs and from 30,000 to 50,000 rubles for legal entities.

To the prosecutor’s office

Send an application for non-payment of wages to the prosecutor’s office at the place of registration of the employer company. Fill in the details, indicate the term and amount of the debt, the time of suspension of work (if any), where you applied earlier and what they answered you. At the end, state what you want.

You can ask not only to collect the debt from the employer, but also to initiate a criminal case against the company. Complete non-payment of earnings for more than two months is punishable by a fine in the amount of 100,000 to 500,000 rubles, forced labor for up to three years, or imprisonment for the same time.

To court

If the salary is accrued, but not paid, that is, the fact of the debt is indisputable, you can go to court in the order of writ proceedings. Minimum time and hassle.

A court order is issued within 5 days from the date of application. The parties are not called, there is no trial. The employer has 10 days to challenge, after which he must immediately pay all debts.

If it is not clear when the delay in wages began and how much (lawyers call this a dispute about the right), they resort to lawsuit proceedings. It is more complicated and longer, but it is possible to sue not only wage arrears, but also compensation for non-pecuniary damage.

Here you have to write a claim . You need to attach to it:

  • Documents confirming that you are an employee of this company (employment contract, order of employment, work book, etc.).
  • Salary statement.
  • Documents evidencing non-payment of earnings (pay slips, bank statements, etc., calculation of debt and compensation).

However, you are not required to continue working for the debtor company. If the fact of non-payment of wages is established, you can quit at any time, without a two-week working off.

This article was first published in February 2018. In September 2022, we updated the text.

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