Payslips must show earnings before and after any deductions, explain any deductions and show how the wage is paid.

You should keep your payslips for as long as possible as proof of your earnings, tax paid and any pension contributions.

Payslips can be printed or electronic (online).


Employers must explain any fixed deductions from a person’s wages, eg trade union subscriptions. They must do this either on a payslip, or in a separate written statement.

This separate statement must be sent out before the first payslip. Employers must update this every year.

Apart from any legal deductions like tax or National Insurance, employers can’t make any deductions from wages unless either:

  • they’re in the employment contract
  • the employee has said in writing that they accept the deduction before it’s made

Who doesn’t have a right to a payslip

People who work don’t have the right to a payslip if they’re:

  • not an employee, eg contractors, freelancers or ‘workers’ - read about the different types of employment status
  • in the police service
  • a merchant seaman
  • master or crew member working in share fishing (paid by a share in the profits or gross earnings of a fishing vessel)