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Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997)

Sectoral Determinations

Sectoral Determination No 5: Learnerships

7. Deductions and other acts concerning remuneration


(1) An employer may not make any deduction from a learner's remuneration unless:
(a) subject to subclause (2), the learner in writing agrees to the deduction in respect of a debt specified in the agreement; or
(b) the deduction is required or permitted in terms of a law, collective agreement, court order or arbitration award.


(2) A deduction in terms of subclause (1)(a) may be made to reimburse an employer for loss or damage only if:
(a) the loss or damage occurred in the course of employment and was due to the fault of the learner;
(b) the employer has followed a fair procedure and has given the learner a reasonable opportunity to show why the deductions should not be made;
(c) the total amount of the debt does not exceed the actual amount of the loss or damage; and
(d) the total deductions from the learner's remuneration in terms of this subclause do not exceed one-quarter of the learner's remuneration in money.


(3) A deduction in terms of subclause (1)(a) in respect of any goods purchased by the learner must specify the nature and quantity of the goods.


(4) An employer who deducts an amount from a learner's remuneration in terms of subclause (1) for payment to another person must pay the amount to the person in accordance with the time period and other requirements specified in the agreement, law, court order or arbitration award.


(5) An employer may not require or permit a learner to:
(a) repay any remuneration except for overpayments previously made by the employer resulting from an error in calculating the learner's remuneration; or
(b) acknowledge receipt of an amount greater than the remuneration actually received.


(6) An employer may not make any deduction from a learner’s remuneration, or require a learner to repay any amount, in respect of any tools, materials, equipment, protective clothing, uniforms or training material required for the purposes of the learnership.