Attachment of earnings

This page was last modified on 01-12-2016

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.

The magistrate's court can make an attachment of earnings order and notify the employer, i.e. order to employer to deduct a specified amount from the remuneration of a salaried worker in order to pay a creditor in repayment of the salaried worker's debts.

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Who is concerned

The following are concerned by an attachment of earnings order:

  • the seizing creditor, i.e. the person who is owed money by the salaried worker and who initiates the attachment of earnings procedure;
  • the employer (the seized third party), i.e. the person who will carry out the attachment of earnings order;
  • the salaried worker (the seized debtor), i.e. the person who is indebted to a third party and who has an attachment of earnings order against him.

Preliminary steps

Initiating an attachment of earnings order implies that a magistrate's court has approved such a request from a creditor (the seizing creditor) against a salaried worker (the seized debtor).

In addition, the attachment of earnings can only be made if there is an employment contract defining the relationship between the employer (the seized third party) and the salaried worker (the seized debtor).

How to proceed

Enforcing an attachment of earnings order

An attachment of earnings is the procedure through which a creditor blocks, in the hands of the employer, a legally determined part of the sums due by a salaried worker who does not honour his financial commitments.

When an attachment of earnings order has to be made, it is notified to the employer by the magistrate's court.

During the suspension phase, i.e. the period between the notification of the attachment order to the employer and the validation of judgement, the employer must:

  • within 8 days of the notification of the attachment order, send a positive declaration to the court and confirm to the magistrate that the salaried worker concerned is indeed in his employ and indicate:
    • the monthly net remuneration paid;
    • any assignments of salaries;
  • deduct the seized legal amount from the salaried workers net salary;
  • retain the seized amount whilst awaiting final validation of the judgement.

After validation of the judgement, i.e. when the judge has confirmed that the salaried worker owes the requested amounts, the employer must:

  • continue to deduct the seized amounts from the worker's salary;
  • transfer the seized amounts to the seizing creditor until the debt is repaid in full.

If the salaried worker no longer works for the employer, the employer must send a negative declaration to the court within 8 days of notification of the attachment of earnings order.

Any employer who does not send a declaration to the court and/or does not seize the legal deductions may be convicted purely and simply as the debtor to repay the amount of debt.

Calculating the seizable share of a salary

The seizable part of a salary is determined on the basis of the net monthly salary divided into 5 levels. For each salary level, a seizable share is defined by law as shown in the table below:


Monthly limits per salary level

Seizable share


up to EUR 722 (inclusive)



from EUR 722,01 to EUR 1,115 (inclusive)

10 %


from EUR 1,115.01 to EUR 1,378 (inclusive)

20 %


from EUR 1,378.01 to EUR 2,296 (inclusive)

25 %


from EUR 2,296.01


In principle, the monthly amounts to be seized are defined by the court magistrate (juge de paix). However, in practice the employer should be in a position to calculate these amounts.

Example: a debt of EUR 4,000 must be repaid by a worker earning a monthly net salary of EUR 3,000.

In order to determine the monthly amount that can be seized, it is first necessary to determine the different levels of the net monthly salary and then calculate the total seizable amount:

Level 1: unseizable

Level 2: (1,115 – 722.01) x 10 % = EUR 39.3

Level 3: (1,378 – 1,115.01) x 20% = EUR 52.6

Level 4: (2,296 – 1,378.01) x 25 % = EUR 229.5

Level 5: (3,000 – 2,296.01) = EUR 703.99

The monthly amount that can be seized according to the different levels is 39.3 +52.6 + 229.5 + 704 = EUR 1,025.39.

This amount will be seized each month from the salaried worker's salary until the debt is repaid in full.

When several attachment of earnings orders have been made on the same salary, the levels are calculated according to the total amount of the income seized. The court magistrate will determine the proportional amount to be seized for each amount due.

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