Can the employer deduct money from the employee when equipment or PPE is damaged or lost?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act is very clear in its guidelines that not only does the employer have a responsibility to protect the employees’ health and safety, but the employee also has a responsibility to use and treat equipment and protective clothing with care. In the event where an employee damages or even loses PPE, Sectoral Determination Section 8(9) makes provision for a deduction to be made from the employees’ wages only if the following conditions are met:

  • The loss or damage that occurred must be during the course of employment and was due to the fault of the agri-worker;
  • The employer has followed a fair procedure and has given the agri-worker a reasonable opportunity to show why the deductions should not be made;
  • The total amount of the debt does not exceed the actual amount of the loss or damage; and
  • The total deductions from the farm worker’s remuneration in terms of this subsection do not exceed one-quarter (25%) of the employee’s remuneration in Rands.

For more information on deductions, feel free to visit Sectoral Determination 13, Section 8 or the SIZA Social Standard for more information on the code requirements related to agri-businesses.