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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The articles on these web pages are provided for general information purposes only. Whilst care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the content provided is not intended to stand alone as legal advice. Always consult a suitably qualified attorney on any specific legal problem or matter.