Making a salary deduction

How to proceed

The remuneration is a direct compensation for the work carried out by the salaried worker on behalf of the employer.

In principle, the employer must pay the salary in full at the end of each month and provide a salary slip that contains the calculation method of the salary.

Nevertheless, the employer may make a salary deduction from the salaried worker's remuneration as a repayment for money owed by the salaried worker to the employer. The employer must however be able to justify the deduction.

Who is concerned?

The following are concerned when a salary deduction is made:

  • the employer who will make a deduction from the salaried worker's remuneration and in particular the Human Resources department which handles the salary payments.
  • the salaried worker who is concerned by the deduction.

What are the prerequisites?

Making a deduction from a salary can only be made if there is an employment contract defining the relationship between the employer and the salaried worker.

How to proceed

Situations authorising a salary deduction

Apart from the attachment of earnings or assignment of remuneration, the employer can make a deduction from a salary in case of:

  • fines incurred by the salaried worker by virtue of the law, of his status as a salaried worker or by virtue of the internal regulations of the business;
  • repairs to damage caused by the salaried worker;
  • damages to or loss of tools, instruments, goods or materials and maintenance products necessary for the execution of the work and whose responsibility is on the salaried worker;
  • advance payments made by the employer.
Advance payments for work carried out or in progress, for which a definitive statement has not yet been drawn up are not considered to be an "advance of money".

Apart from these specific cases, the employer is not allowed to make salary deductions and he must guarantee to salaried workers the absolute availability of their full remuneration.

As a result, even if the salaried worker and the employer draw up a written contract allowing for compensation between the worker's salary and the employer's receivable debt, the contract is only effective if the employer's receivable debt corresponds to one of the 4 cases as stated by the law.

For example:

A salaried worker uses all of his 25 days of annual leave at the beginning of the year and resigns in the middle of the year.

As the salaried worker has taken too many days of leave, the employer wants to make a deduction from the worker's last salary equivalent to the number of holidays taken.

A deduction from salary is not legal in this case and the employer can be forced by law to reimburse the total amount of deductions made as this case is not stated by the law.

Calculating the deductible amount

Deductions made in case of a fine, damages or advance payments cannot exceed 10 % of the net monthly salary.

In case of damages to or loss of equipment, the employer can directly deduct from the salary the total value of the tools or equipment concerned.

All of these deductions are calculated independently of any attachments or assignment of remuneration.

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