Trainee solicitor awarded €22,439 in back pay

Imtiaz Ahmed said he worked up to 60 hours a week but was paid little or nothing

A trainee solicitor who claims that he was paid the equivalent of €5 an hour at times has been awarded €22,439 in a successful minimum wage action against his former employer.

At the Labour Court, Deputy Chairman, Louise O’Donnell has upheld a ruling by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and found that Imtiaz Ahmed Ranjha of Sky Solicitors did not pay Imtiaz Khan the national minimum wage.

Mr Khan told the Labour Court that he worked 50 to 60 hours per week at the practice and was sometimes paid nothing at all.

Ms O’Donnell ordered Sky Solicitors to pay the arrears of €22,439 after finding that Mr Khan was underpaid that amount by his former employer.


As part of his case under the National Minimum Wages Act 2000, Mr Khan told the Labour Court that he emailed his then employer on October 22nd 2018 and pointed out that he had not been paid for six months work and that some months he was only paid the equivalent of €5 an hour. He requested that all outstanding wages be paid to him.

In the case, Mr Khan provided the Labour Court with a table showing the hours he had worked each month, the amount he was paid, and the shortfall in respect of the difference between what he was paid and the minimum wage.

In her findings rejecting Mr Ranjha’s/Sky Solicitor’s appeal of the WRC ruling, Ms O’Donnell stated that the Labour Court accepted the table submitted by Mr Khan in respect of arrears due.

Mr Khan stated that his training solicitor signed a note stating that Mr Khan worked approximately 50 to 60 hours per week.

Mr Khan stated that after lectures, he would go straight back to the office and that he worked late into the evening and at times he worked weekends.

A witness for Sky Solicitors stated that Mr Khan worked only 22 hours per week but Ms O’Donnell stated that she preferred the evidence of Mr Khan that he was working on average 50 to 60 hours inclusive of his hours at lectures,

Mr Ranjha received authorisation from the Law Society to commence his practice in 2016.

Ms O’Donnell stated that Mr Ranjha confirmed to the court that he had not kept any records of Mr Khan’s hours and or rate of pay.

Sky Solicitors told the Labour Court that the court didn’t have the jurisdiction to hear the claim as Mr Khan was not an employee and that if he was an employee his employment ended on August 31st 2018 and therefore his claim is out of time. This was rejected by the Labour Court and in the court’s findings.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times