I recently finished a summer internship in the UK. According to my contract, my dates were the 2nd of July to the 7th of September: I worked for 10 weeks. My salary was 26,000 per annum. I expected in total (gross) to be paid 5000 as the weekly rate should be 500.

However, I have only be paid 2,166.67 * 2 (for the first two paychecks) and 500 for the final paycheck. The total is short of 5000, at 4833.34. Have I been underpaid, or am I misunderstanding how such pay is calculated?

  • 2
    Refer to your contract or employment agreement. – Neo Sep 28 '18 at 16:55
  • Are your numbers calculated before or after taxes? And is the amount paid out? – Erik Sep 28 '18 at 16:58
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    Use the salary in your contract to calculate gross pay. Ask for paystub which will detail your taxes/fees which will be your net pay. – jcmack Sep 28 '18 at 16:59
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    Not sure why this got a DV.. it's a perfectly clear question and totally on-topic here – motosubatsu Sep 28 '18 at 17:00
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    Yeah what you did works ok as a rough approximation - the difference is down to the slight shortfall in being a whole number of weeks - see my answer for details – motosubatsu Sep 28 '18 at 17:22

Assuming you were salaried at 26000 per annum that does indeed work out at £500 per week - what you're missing is that the figure is £500 per calendar week and that includes weekends. Given your dates you started on a Monday and finished on a Friday and were employed for 2 days short of 10 calendar weeks, hence the slight disparity.

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    Seems a strange way to calculate pay. Presumably the employee is not expected to work 7 days a week, so if OP worked 5 days in the first week and 5 days in the last week, shouldn't that count as full work even though they weren't contracted for the first Sunday and last Saturday? After all, OP did do the expected 10 weeks (50 days) of work that would have come out of 10 calendar weeks. – cdkMoose Sep 28 '18 at 19:38
  • No the employee isn't expected to work all 7 days, it's done that way to make it universal regardless of shift patterns etc As not everyone who is salaried works Mon Fri. And yes it's weird, it's not unusual for companies to get it slightly wrong either since the day of the week that a salary period starts will vary. Obviously wages can also be calculated on hourly or daily rates but those would be specified in the contract as opposed to the annual salary that the OP had. – motosubatsu Sep 28 '18 at 21:05
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    All of the exempt jobs I have ever held (I'm in the US) expressed the salary as an annual number. I'm pretty sure I've started those jobs on Mondays and left them on Fridays, I never keep came up short on compensation like this math would indicate. Is this a UK thing? – cdkMoose Sep 28 '18 at 21:15

If you have an annual salary you are paid by the month (or part thereof). So for each full month you get 1/12 of your annual salary, if you work part of a month your pay is pro-rated based on the number of working days in the month.

2nd of July was the first working day of July. So you worked a full month in Jul and August.

 2* (26000 / 12)  => 2 * 2166.67

The last month you worked until the 7 of Sep. This is 5 working days in a month of 20 work days in it.

 5/20 * (26000 / 12) => 1/4 * 2166.67 => 541.66

Seems like you were underpaid 41.66

Most company's assume a work day of 8 hours. So if we reverse that we can find out how many hours they think you worked. In the last month.

 500 / 2166.67  => Percentage of moth you were paid for.
 20 days => 160 hours in the last month.

 Hours paid in last month  = 500 / 2166.67 * 160 => 36

So it looks like they paid you for 36 hours (4.5 days).

Did you do a half day on Friday the 7 of September?

  • This is mainly right, except in the UK we're paid for full months, so the last payment is for 1-7 September (7 days) so it's 7/30*2166.67=£505.56. We don't know if the "£500" of the question is an approximation, either. Also, 36 hours is a standard working week; 40-hour weeks are rare. – Andrew Leach Sep 28 '18 at 21:17
  • @AndrewLeach Have to disagree that this is universal. This is based on my first job (in the UK). Where I joined the company just before the end of the month. Took me ages to work out why my first month salary was a weird number. But it turned out I worked 5 days of a 22 day working day month. So my first pay check was 5/22 of a months pay (confirmed with payroll). On the 7 or 8 hours a day. Does not make much difference. Working backwards. It suggests a 4.5 working days of pay (in a 20 work day month). – Martin York Sep 29 '18 at 2:16
  • It would still be shitty for you to only get payed half a day on your last day, so Andrews 7/30 seems to line up better at 505.56. So the company may have been calculating days in the month (so you should have quit on Sunday the 9th). – Martin York Sep 29 '18 at 2:17
  • Never leave half-way through February! Each day is worth 1/28 of your monthly pay. Leave in a month with 31 days. – Andrew Leach Sep 30 '18 at 11:18

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