Basic Guide to Deductions (Learnerships)


by Zopedol — last modified 2014-04-01 17:42
Employers may deduct money from a learner’s pay only if learners agree or if they are required to do so.


  1. The Sectoral Determination 5: Learnerships applies to-
    • the employment of a learner –
      • who has concluded a learnership agreement; and
      • who was not employed by the employer party to the learnership agreement when the agreement was concluded; and
    • every employer who employs a learner.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies in respect of any matter not covered by this sectoral determination.


Conditions for Deductions

Employers may not deduct money from a Learner’s pay unless –
  • the learner agrees in writing to the deduction of a debt, or
  • the deduction is made in terms of a collective agreement, law (e.g. UIF contributions), court order or arbitration award.
An employer may not require or allow a learner to pay for any -
  • tools;
  • materials; 
  • equipment; 
  • protective clothing; 
  • uniforms needed for the learnership.
  • repay any pay, except for overpayments that the employer made; or
  • acknowledge receipt of a higher amount than the pay actually received.

Deductions for Damage or Loss

An employer may deduct for loss or damage only if –
  • a learner was at fault and it happened at work; 
  • a fair procedure is followed;
  • the learner agrees in writing, and
  • the deduction does not exceed -
    • the actual cost; and
    • is no more than 25% of the learners pay.

Deductions for Benefit Funds

Employers must pay deductions and employer contributions to benefit funds (pension, provident, retirement, medical aid, etc.) to the fund within 7 days.

Based on Legislation in Section 34, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

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