Can I make a deduction from an worker’s wage?

If an worker fails to return firm property, reminiscent of laptops, uniforms or cell phones for instance, is it permissible to make a deduction of the gear worth from their remaining wage?

The quick reply is sure, however there are some issues to contemplate.

The power to make a deduction from wage, whether or not a remaining or different wage cost, depends upon what’s written inside your contract of employment.

>See additionally: Vacation entitlement for workers

Any deductions can solely be made if the proper to deduct is contained inside a related a part of the contract, this will normally be discovered underneath the wage part or underneath a selected clause on “deduction from wages”. In the event you don’t have both of those clauses, then you possibly can nonetheless deduct cost, however it’ll require an settlement in writing signed by the worker earlier than any deductions will be made.

The absence of a signed contract doesn’t robotically imply you possibly can’t make a deduction; supplied the worker has been given particulars of this clause in writing or has obtained prior written discover of the deduction, then you possibly can nonetheless go forward, however clearly that is considerably more difficult to realize if the employer has already left the enterprise, so greatest to examine that your contract consists of the related clauses.

Many firms ask workers to signal for firm property throughout their induction, the place the documentation particularly data an settlement by the worker for the corporate to get better the worth of their property within the occasion that it’s not returned. This ought to be enough to represent an settlement to the deduction. Verify if the time period particularly permits for restoration from remaining wage. If it does, then the deduction will be made.

>See additionally: Worker needs to transform SSP to annual go away

It’s advisable to additionally contemplate the take a look at of reasonableness on the subject of the quantity to be deducted. If any worker leaves after two years and the uniform is previous its promote by date, then to request a cost to the worth of an entire new set could also be thought of unreasonable. Likewise it wouldn’t be cheap to take the total price of recent gear from somebody whose previous tech has depreciated in worth over their employment. If doubtful, frequent sense ought to prevail.

So as to keep away from any difficulties, it’s usually greatest to jot down to the worker upfront, highlighting what must be returned and what the cost can be within the occasion that the property shouldn’t be returned. Set out that it’s the intention to get better these quantities from remaining wage in accordance with the phrases until another is agreed.

Briefly, in case you are planning on making a deduction, examine your contracts, agree the phrases, notify the worker in writing detailing your calculations, and be cheap when it comes to what to deduct.

Karen Watkins is the founding father of specialist SME HR consultancy Rowan Consulting

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