I work a part-time job (weekends only) in a takeaway for some extra cash (and free food).

I have had years of experience (on and off) within this business and they asked me to come back. Upon arrival, I was told that they'd increase my pay but this was only discussed verbally. At the end of my first shift back I received my old pay which I am not happy working for.

This is in the UK (not sure about other places) meaning that verbal contracts are just as legally binding as written ones.

I mentioned it to the employer and she simply denied ever mentioning that.

In a company in which people don't use emails, How do I get written proof (for future reference obviously this one is beyond saving as she can keep denying)?

  • Is it just cash-in-hand payments you're getting? Has there ever been a paper trail of your hours, wages etc. (outside of possibly your own bank statement)?
    – user34587
    Aug 15 '18 at 8:03
  • @JoeStrazzere So you mean just tell them how it is?
    – Twyxz
    Aug 15 '18 at 11:27
  • Are you working off the books? Aug 15 '18 at 22:32
  • Sure they can give it in writing but unless they actually pay you that amount, what good is a written piece of paper? Do you plan to sue them if they don't give you a raise? Just tell them give me the raise or else it's bye bye.
    – Dan
    Aug 16 '18 at 13:33

Just nail them down when they're feeling generous.

Great, can I have that in writing?

And then just jot something down on a piece of paper and ask them to sign it. If they honestly believe that they're giving you the rise, they shouldn't be able to complain about it.

Whether a jotted piece of paper is admissible as evidence is another matter, but it's a concrete action that the employer will find hard to dispute.

Since you're already in the position and you joined on the promise of increased wages, you can just tell them that you're leaving citing that you can get better money elsewhere. If they want to keep you, they're going to have to invest in you.


This sounds like a casual and informal workplace. Don't take this as someone trying to rip you off (which will make your demeanor more difficult to work with.) Instead start it as if the manager actually doesn't recall saying that to you. (It's possible if a touch unlikely.) The reason I suggest this is because it will put you in the best frame of mind for a clean renegotiation. As suggested by @Joe in the comments

Hey boss, I've been thinking about it and I really need $x to continue working here. Oh, I know you don't remember our previous conversation and that's understandable, you are very busy. I still need to be paid what I feel I'm worth.

You can also consider that as a semi-active past employee you aren't being treated great and look elsewhere for employment.


Given that the "proof" has to be written by the employer, it is up to them to hand it out - which then can be used against them. Verbal contracts and arrangements may be binding, but the obvious issue is the lack of provable substance. But in your case, the issue is that she either fooled you or changed her mind - otherwise she may have done as promised.

Consider that arrangement to be not just one sided. The deal is this: "Give me a higher wage (for what we agreed my work is worth) so that I am less inclined to leave or to put in less effort."

Her betraying your trust means basically the same as a somewhat delayed "no." However, you know you can't trust her word, especially if it is about something beneficial to you, given that she may be likely to say things to please you in the short term.

What to do in general: Ask for physical proof after such arrangements.

What to do in specific: Do not trust her any more.

  • I wouldn't recommend saying you're actively going to shirk ("or I'll put in less effort").
    – freedomn-m
    Sep 3 '18 at 14:21
  • @freedomn-m - Of course. But it is naturally implied that if you pay less, you can expect less. Especially if the employee made clear that a raise was expected. Some people prefer to leave the job, some people prefer to remain and work less hard (out of laziness/comfort). Certain jobs can be done even if you give 70% instead of the previous 100%. Obviously it would be a scenario in which the employee is dissatisfied with the status quo. It's another question if a raise is justified. After all it's all a matter of negotiation, including in this regard.
    – Battle
    Sep 3 '18 at 17:10

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