What is meant by deductions from wages?

Wage deduction is practised by an employer who withholds part of the employee’s remuneration in order to be reimbursed for certain amounts.

In which cases can the employer deduct from the employee's salary?

Employers have an acknowledged right to make deductions from an employee’s wages in the following strictly limited cases:

  • the employee must settle a fine in accordance with the law, the employee’s statute or the internal regulations of the establishment, which are regularly posted;
  • the employee has committed a fault which has caused damage to the employer;
  • the employer has provided the employee either with tools or instruments necessary for work and the related maintenance products, or with materials necessary for the work and for which the employees are responsible according to the customary practice under the terms of their employment contracts;
  • the employer has advanced money to the employee.

Apart from these cases, no deductions may be made, as the employee must be guaranteed absolute availability of his remuneration.

Are exemptions from the above cases limited by law possible?

Even where both parties sign a document allowing for a compensation between the salary and a claim of the employer, it is not valid if the claim of the employer does not correspond to one of these four cases.

What percentage of a salary can be deducted in the cases listed in the law?

Some of the deductions are capped in the sense that they may not exceed 10% of the net monthly pay. This applies to deductions made for fines, cash advances and damages caused by the employee.