Home Page ->
Legal Articles -> Pay deductions without notice
Welcome to Scorpion’s Legal Tips! Every week we’ll share stories of injustice and show you how you can strike back legally.
Reginald* says his employer just deducted money from his pay, without him knowing or signing anything. R1200 was taken and he wants to know if his employer can do this. Scorpion Legal Protection takes a look at the matter.
Can an employer deduct money from your pay without you knowing? No, employees must be made aware of all deductions that are made to their pay. However, there are deductions that are allowed and that can be carried out by the employer without the consent of the employee, like PAYE and UIF contributions. This means the employee does not have to agree to the deductions – and may even disagree with them – but the employer may still deduct them and must notify the employee that they did so. Deductions like PAYE and UIF, that every employer must pay over to the state, must be listed on your payslip.
In the case of court orders, like maintenance payments to a spouse for children, the employee cannot refuse the deduction, but they will still know about the deduction. The judgment creditor has the duty of notifying the employee of the court order that was granted against the employer to deduct money from the employee’s pay and hand it over. The employee would get official documentation from the court like an emolument attachment order, maintenance order or garnishee order notifying them of the deduction that is coming.
If you feel that your employer has unlawfully deducted money from your pay, you should address the issue internally first. Talk to your line manager or the HR department. You need to make sure that the deduction is unlawful before taking action against the employer, so get as much information as you can. You cannot report the employer to the CCMA if the deduction made was lawful. Ask what exactly the deduction was for, how long it is for (will it be deducted again the next month?) and how the employer notified you of the deduction.
If the employer still refuses to fix the situation, and you are sure the deduction is unlawful, you can refer the matter to the CCMA or relevant bargaining council as a pay dispute. You can also talk to Scorpion Legal Protection if you are a member and we will advise you on the best legal action to take.
You may also be interested in:
Disciplinary hearings explained step by step
Resigned, what must employer pay me?
3 must-know tips for CCMA arbitration
If you have a query, follow Scorpion Legal Protection on Facebook and ask your question during our next Live Q&A (every first Thursday of the month from 11:30- 13:30).
* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing. Cases are based on fictional characters unless otherwise indicated.
Date added: 16 February 2022
If you prefer to leave us an online query, please complete the form below and we will call you back.
Please select an enquiry type
Membership card / policy update query
Income Tax query
Last will & testament
Please select a complaint type
Poor service/Rude staff