Back Pay

What is Back Pay ?


Back pay refers to the wages an employer owes to an employee for work already done in the past. This situation arises when an employee is not compensated for overtime, is paid less than the minimum wage, or as part of a settlement in a lawsuit against the employer.

Calculating Back Pay

  • Determining Regular Rate of Pay: The first step in calculating back pay is to establish the employee's regular rate of pay. This rate is typically their hourly wage but may include commissions or bonuses.
  • Multiplying by Hours Worked: Next, multiply the regular rate of pay by the number of hours worked. For instance, if an employee worked 40 hours a week for 10 weeks, they are owed back pay for 400 hours at their regular rate.
  • Retroactive Calculation: Back pay is calculated retroactively from the start of the pay period in which the employee was underpaid. For example, if an employee is paid bi-weekly but missed a paycheck, the back pay calculation begins from the last paycheck they received.

Viewing Back Pay Details

When an employee receives back pay, it appears as a separate item on their payslip, allowing them to see the details of the payment.

Final Thoughts

Back pay is an important concept for both employers and employees to understand, ensuring fair compensation for work performed. It involves calculating the wages owed based on the employee’s regular pay rate and the hours worked, and is usually clearly itemized on the employee's payslip.