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Payroll Garnishment Deductions

Wage Garnishment

Garnishments are issued when an employee is in arrears with a payment or a maintenance order. The employer is issued with a garnishment order they are required to withhold a certain amount of money from an employee’s salary.

Garnishees cause a major headache for employers, especially for HR and payroll departments whose job it is to make the garnishee payments. Many employers don’t know what to look for when a garnishee is served and just accept it.

A company should have a designated person accepting Garnishment Orders and this person should be trained to look for the following:

  • Ensure this has been delivered by a Messenger of the Court and it should contain a case number, a stamp from the Clerk of the Court, and must be signed by an Attorney.
  • It should have the full name and ID number or the staff number of an employee number.
  • The employer must ensure that the employee still works for the company before accepting the Order. If not or if the Garnishee Order is defective in any way the Garnishee Order should not be accepted.
  • If the employee is still at the company, he or she must be informed of the Order.
  • The employee can dispute the amount claimed  if it appears to be incorrect and they may also apply to the court to reduce the amount of the order if they feel the deduction is too big to leave them with enough money to survive on.
  • Employees should be advised that it is easy to purchase goods or secure loans; however they need to ensure that they have the necessary funds to afford these before purchasing.

Many employees don’t even realise that they have a wage garnishment against them until they notice the deduction on their payslip.

Garnishments are repayments of certain money owed. These payments cover:

  • Taxes
  • Child support
  • Other Court ordered fines

When Taxes are to be deducted, SARS will issue an IT88.  The employee is then appointed as the Agent and has to deduct the tax owing.

It is imperative that these amounts are calculated and withheld and payment made accurately and swiftly to ensure that the employer doesn’t become liable for fines themselves.

Pay Solutions will take care of the garnishment calculations for your payroll, garnish wages and make the payments, including reporting necessary for this task for the protection of both employer and employee.


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