The key is to get written consent to dock his pay! But there are situations where you don't need written consent. Let's take a look.
Make your employee pay for his mistake!
If it's not your mistake, why should your company pay for it?
Don't seem fair, does it?
And that's why most employees think the obvious thing to do is just deduct the amount Tim owes from his salary.
But it's not that easy!
In fact, if you don't deduct the amount correctly, you'll not only pay for his mistake, you'll pay for yours too – at the CCMA!
You see, as an employer there are deductions you can make and then there are deductions you can't. And it's your responsibility to follow the correct rules and procedures to make sure you get it right.
If you don't and your employee disputes this deduction, you'll land up at the CCMA. And you WILL lose!
You don't always need written consent to deduct money
You can automatically deduct amounts in the following instances:
- If you accidentally overpay him;
- If he has union fees;
- Legal deductions. Such as UIF and tax;
- A deduction authorised by an arbitration award; or
- Court order. For example, a garnishee order for child maintenance.
Make sure you have a clause in your employment contracts that gives you the authority to deduct money an employee owes you.
What happens if your employee leaves before working off the balance he owes you?
If your employee leaves before paying back the full amount, you have two options. You can write the loss off or you can deduct all outstanding money from his final pay check. This is instead of issuing a summons and incurring legal costs suing him for the balance.
You must specify the exact amount of each deduction, to qualify as written consent (BCEA).
If you use the above clause it makes your employees aware they'll be financially responsible for losses they cause. You can then later agree on the numbers when the actual loss happens. If you can't agree on the amount, you can deduct what you lost. Just make sure you can prove your calculations.
The next time one of your employees breaks company property, you won't have to suffer for his negligence.