Salary deductions and absenteeism

MickeyD

RIP
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Oct 4, 2010
Messages
139,117
I stay 9kms from the office. Which is usually a good thing. Not today.
I've been with the company for almost 4 years. There are in-house disciplinary processes. I have voiced my concern over not receiving my salary, and about the large deduction.

I am considered middle management and report directly to a director.

I do have an employment contract. Not sure how legitimate it is. Example: there is a clause stating I need to give 3 months notice should i resign
Lodge a formal in-house grievance against your company on the grounds of procedural unfairness. In writing or using the formal in-house processes.
 

Thor

Honorary Master
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Jun 5, 2014
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39,623
I apologize for jumping to conclusions.

Welcome to the forum, I hope you get this resolved
 

princes_arabella

Well-Known Member
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May 27, 2013
Messages
100
A family member works for a payroll office in govt, and they are not allowed to deduct from an employee's salary more than a certain %, even if there was a disciplinary process and the employee was in the wrong etc. Not sure if it's public sector policy or BCEA which says that you can't sommer just take a person's salary for the whole month, it should be done over a period of time or something.

I agree with everyone else here though, get on the phone with the CCMA and hear what they have to say before lodging grievances and anything else, because that can lead to additional mental trauma.
 

Brewmaster

"That guy"
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
5,223
I stay 9kms from the office. Which is usually a good thing. Not today.
I've been with the company for almost 4 years. There are in-house disciplinary processes. I have voiced my concern over not receiving my salary, and about the large deduction.

I am considered middle management and report directly to a director.

I do have an employment contract. Not sure how legitimate it is. Example: there is a clause stating I need to give 3 months notice should i resign
Your next steps should be guided by how you feel about continuing to work there after this matter is resolved.

If you'd like to continue working there then follow the company's internal grievances process as MickeyD suggests, to upset as few people as possible so all can go back to normal afterwards.

If you don't mind losing the job then you've got two options:
1) Approach the Department of Labour and make a claim against the company. The DoL will intervene but your working environment might be changed for the worse forever so you might have to resign soon after.
2) Resign and go to CCMA and lodge a constructive dismissal claim. I reckon you've got a strong case as your company pretty much broke all the rules governing employee deductions.

Either way though, you need to make a plan for your debit orders as there's no guarantee that this will be resolved before month-end. Call in favours or notify your creditors ASAP.

Disclaimer: I'm no labour expert. Seek professional advice.
 

MagicDude4Eva

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Apr 2, 2008
Messages
6,479
@DavidB23 - I am sorry if I jump to conclusions, but you say that you are middle-management, had no disciplinary process and by the sounds of it, the company decided to deduct money from your salary leaving you without a pay-check this month. Something does not add up as I do not think any company would just not pay an employee if there was not some sort of history of previous events leading up to it.

From the BCEA:

According to Christie’s The Law of Contract (4 ed), ‘set-off’ is a method in which contractual and other debts may be extinguished against one another. To apply ‘set-off’ you need to prove:

  • There is mutual indebtedness
  • Both parties' debts must be liquidated and equal, and
  • Both debts are fully due and payable.

The BCEA addresses deductions in relation to damages - S34 (2) allows an employer to make deductions from an employee’s remuneration because of loss or damage. However, the employer must first comply with the following:

  • The damage must be have been caused by the employee,
  • The employee must be given a fair opportunity to make representations about why the salary deduction shouldn’t be made,
  • The total amount of the debt can’t exceed the loss or damage, and
  • The total deduction can’t exceed one-quarter of the employee's monetary remuneration.

The BCEA also specifically deals with the recovery of any overpayment made to an employee. The BCEA allows an employer to deduct any overpayment made to an employee.
There are a number of CCMA cases which contradict - i.e.
  • Shenaaz Padayachee v Interpak Books (Pty) Ltd (case number D243-12) - in this example there was no written agreement for deduction required from the employee and there was no limit necessary for the amount deducted vs.
  • Botha and British American Tobacco SA (Pty) Ltd (2008) 29 ILJ 1301 - the CCMA decided that a set-off as per s34(1)(b) is not law and the set-off can only occur against an employee with a written agreement

Any sound company would not go for a set-off unless there is reason (or they are just complete idiots) and perhaps there is really not more to the story as you described. My point however is, that based on some case-law it can be completely legal to do a full set-off (it really depends what actually happened).

Read section 34 - http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/downlo...nded Act - Basic Conditions of Employment.pdf and then perhaps try and find an amicable solution with your company to institute a payment plan or find legal representation.

To me it almost sounds like the company considers you a "flight risk" and hence wants to recover loss as quick as possible.
 

DavidB23

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
17
I also think we don't have the full story here...
My problem is that any deduction, whether it be legal/justified or not, cannot be more than 25% of your salary. (According to the BCEA)

I have contacted the CCMA, they have informed me that I contact the Department of Labour to investigate this. I have also "lawyered up". I am at work today, and am not going to just stay away. Even though that is what I would like to do, and was the question I posted originally.

While the cogs are turning in the background, I'm still totally screwed with regards to debits and such.

I'll let you know of the outcome. In the meantime, 2 of my colleagues are at the CCMA currently for the same reason.
 

Pitbull

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Apr 8, 2006
Messages
63,286
Hi All, hope this is in the right place and that someone can point me in the right direction.

My employer is going to deduct (or has already deducted) an amount from my salary. This amount is more than I earn. So I won't be receiving a salary this month. I have sought legal assistance, and have come across a lawyer that will assist.

My question is: seeing as I won't be receiving a salary (this is happening next month too). Should I feel obligated to work? Is there a no pay no work clause somewhere in the BCEA? I'd like to not go to work tomorrow to pursue my salary dispute and get the ball rolling for whatever case I may have. I can't exactly call my boss and say "I won't be coming to work tomorrow because I'm making a case against you at the CCMA"

Do I send him a mail with my intentions? Do I just pull a sicky? (I haven't called in sick in 3 years, it will seem suspicious)

When all else fails........ Internet
We need to know what the deductions is for before we can advise tbh
 

TJ99

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
10,733
My problem is that any deduction, whether it be legal/justified or not, cannot be more than 25% of your salary. (According to the BCEA)

I have contacted the CCMA, they have informed me that I contact the Department of Labour to investigate this. I have also "lawyered up". I am at work today, and am not going to just stay away. Even though that is what I would like to do, and was the question I posted originally.

While the cogs are turning in the background, I'm still totally screwed with regards to debits and such.

I'll let you know of the outcome. In the meantime, 2 of my colleagues are at the CCMA currently for the same reason.
Except as Magicdude has said, in some cases it has been allowed.

You made the right move by going to work, let us know how it turns out.
 

Pitbull

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Apr 8, 2006
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63,286
To answer your questions:
1. I thought that the reason for the deduction is irrelevant as the basic conditions of employment act states that deductions, even those where the company has suffered a loss, can only be made with my written consent. Where the deduction is made, whether or not by law or court order cannot exceed 1/4 of my salary per month
2. The reason for the deduction: it's for spare parts allocated to me that hasn't been processed through our system. It's repairs, that doesn't cost the company extra money. It will be written off as a maintenance expense. It hasn't yet because of others not doing their job. I struggle to resolve this. It takes up a lot of my time.

So, I think calling the CCMA is probably my best bet. Their call centre opens at 8:30.

Deducting this from me I think is a little reckless. I am in it very deep with regards to rent/bills. Not to mention things like food
I don't understand this part. Is it parts from your employer that you used for personal use? Or do you need to use those parts on clients of your company?
 

OrbitalDawn

Ulysses Everett McGill
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Aug 26, 2011
Messages
42,704
What's the absenteeism in the title of the thread about? Your wanting to stay away?

And what spare parts did you take that are worth more than your entire salary for this and next month? :erm:

Under what circumstances was this 'spare part allocation' actually done, because it doesn't really sound like any reasonable process was followed.
 

DavidB23

Member
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Feb 25, 2015
Messages
17
What's the absenteeism in the title of the thread about? Your wanting to stay away?

And what spare parts did you take that are worth more than your entire salary for this and next month? :erm:

Under what circumstances was this 'spare part allocation' actually done, because it doesn't really sound like any reasonable process was followed.
I'll explain the process a little better. We mainly have 3 types of customers where repairs are involved. 1. Pay before we fix customers. 2. Pay a maintenance fee and we fix when you need us to (SLA) 3. And pay for what you use.

So if i were to do a repair at customer A, and I require 1) A circuit board, 2) A logic controller 3) A Solenoid Valve for example, and this customer has a maintenance contract with us, i would request these parts from our stores. The parts would be allocated to me, and would only be written off once the customer has signed a job card stating that the repairs were done.

Now this is where things get iffy
1. I submit my jobcard to an admin person
2. She submits this to a Helpdesk to update tickets/calls on our system
3. This person submits the paperwork to an admin team.
4. The admin person invoices the part out if it's a pay before we do a repair customer, or writes it off as a maintenance expense should the customer have a maintenance agreement with us.

I exclusively only attend to repairs where a maintenance customer is involved, so there are no invoicing that needs to be done, or money that has to be collected that can't due to anything I have caused.

So if admin person neglects to follow the process, I'm still the one that gets penalized, seeing as the part has my name on it.

Now this process shouldn't take more than a couple of days. Unfortunately things do happen in these 4 steps with paperwork getting misplaced, people not passing the required info on to complete the flow etc. So the part remains allocated to me. It has been physically been used to complete a repair. Logically it is as if the part is still in my possession. They instated a new rule last week that any parts still allocated to you by month end will be deducted from your salary.

That's where my problem comes in. The total value of items allocated to me is around 35k. They advised that the deduction this month is 15K, and next month will be 20K.

My argument is that no one can survive if your entire salary is deducted for whatever reason. If it's a legal, justified, legitimate deduction, I say GREAT. I'll agree to that. But it can't be my entire salary. How will I live? I think that is why there is a provision in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act that this deduction can't be more than 25% of your salary.
 

OrbitalDawn

Ulysses Everett McGill
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
42,704
Well that's completely bogus. Geeze.

So did some admin person lose your jobcard or did they just not process it yet?

Is your boss just an asshole or what? Did you explain what happened?
 

Drifter

Honorary Master
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Dec 19, 2012
Messages
19,310
This kind of deduction, regardless of the value, sounds illegal to me.
 

Pitbull

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Apr 8, 2006
Messages
63,286
I'll explain the process a little better. We mainly have 3 types of customers where repairs are involved. 1. Pay before we fix customers. 2. Pay a maintenance fee and we fix when you need us to (SLA) 3. And pay for what you use.

So if i were to do a repair at customer A, and I require 1) A circuit board, 2) A logic controller 3) A Solenoid Valve for example, and this customer has a maintenance contract with us, i would request these parts from our stores. The parts would be allocated to me, and would only be written off once the customer has signed a job card stating that the repairs were done.

Now this is where things get iffy
1. I submit my jobcard to an admin person
2. She submits this to a Helpdesk to update tickets/calls on our system
3. This person submits the paperwork to an admin team.
4. The admin person invoices the part out if it's a pay before we do a repair customer, or writes it off as a maintenance expense should the customer have a maintenance agreement with us.

I exclusively only attend to repairs where a maintenance customer is involved, so there are no invoicing that needs to be done, or money that has to be collected that can't due to anything I have caused.

So if admin person neglects to follow the process, I'm still the one that gets penalized, seeing as the part has my name on it.

Now this process shouldn't take more than a couple of days. Unfortunately things do happen in these 4 steps with paperwork getting misplaced, people not passing the required info on to complete the flow etc. So the part remains allocated to me. It has been physically been used to complete a repair. Logically it is as if the part is still in my possession. They instated a new rule last week that any parts still allocated to you by month end will be deducted from your salary.

That's where my problem comes in. The total value of items allocated to me is around 35k. They advised that the deduction this month is 15K, and next month will be 20K.

My argument is that no one can survive if your entire salary is deducted for whatever reason. If it's a legal, justified, legitimate deduction, I say GREAT. I'll agree to that. But it can't be my entire salary. How will I live? I think that is why there is a provision in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act that this deduction can't be more than 25% of your salary.
Then have a biatch fit with the director as you're clearly not in the wrong here. I do however feel there is something either you're not telling us or we're missing. No way I would be ok with any work related deductions on my salary but you're ok with 25%? Something is amiss here.
 

DavidB23

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
17
No way I would be ok with any work related deductions on my salary but you're ok with 25%? Something is amiss here.
No way I'm OK with any deduction. My argument is that if there is to be a deduction, and it is somehow deemed to be legal, 25% I can handle. i'd be able to pay bills and buy food at least.

The whole process is BS. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I'm not the only one that this has been done to. Which would indicate that the problem is with the system and the process rather than the individuals.
 

Rocket-Boy

Executive Member
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Jul 31, 2007
Messages
8,121
Aside from the amount being deducted or what effect it has on your accounts there is a much bigger problem here.
You are accepting the deductions at all!!
There is no way in hell that I would allow anything to be deducted from my salary that is the result of a bad admin system.
 

DavidB23

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
17
Well that's completely bogus. Geeze.

So did some admin person lose your jobcard or did they just not process it yet?

Is your boss just an asshole or what? Did you explain what happened?
Our director is an ******* with a god complex unfortunately. He is the one making the decision, and is completely aware of the situation. He is trying a "not my monkeys, not my circus" arguments and is only acting as an enforcer in this matter.
All of the items allocated to me is either:
1. Not gone through the process yet
2. Stuff up by Admin. They closed the ticket without actually removing a part from my name
3. A stuff up by the sales team where they were trying to skip a few processes to ensure they keep their sales targets up. The repercussions of this has landed in my lap

Think I may need to use the Chewbacca defence to get this sorted.
 

DavidB23

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
17
Aside from the amount being deducted or what effect it has on your accounts there is a much bigger problem here.
You are accepting the deductions at all!!
There is no way in hell that I would allow anything to be deducted from my salary that is the result of a bad admin system.
See, that is what I'm fighting now. I'm not accepting the deductions. I'm trying to fight this as best as I legally can
 
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