According to section 34(1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), an employer is not allowed to make deductions from an employee’s remuneration/salary without fulfilling specific criteria.
Salary deduction requirements
In order to make any salary deductions, an employee must ensure that they have the following:
- the consent of the employee;
- the deductions are required/permitted by law;
- a collective agreement, arbitration award or court order.
Deductions that are not allowed according to Labour Law
There are certain deductions that are not allowed in terms of the BCEA, namely:
- Fines that an employer gives to an employee for an alleged act of misconduct for the main purpose of punishment; and
- Loss of damages when an employee has not consented to it because he/she does not believe he/she is liable or disputes the amount; etc.
Employee consent is paramount
It is important to note that an employee must give his or her consent before a deduction may be made from their salary. However, the law also provides ways to assist the employer who suffered any loss of damage because of an employee’s negligence or misconduct.
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