What can an employer deduct from wages Part 2

Sec 326 of the Fair Work Act effectively provides that modern awards, enterprise agreements and contracts of employment have no effect if they purport to permit an employer to deduct an amount from remuneration for performance of work or require or have the effect of requiring an employee to make a payment to an employer or another person if either the deduction or payment is directly or indirectly for the benefit of the employer, or a party related to the employer and the deduction or payment is unreasonable in the circumstances OR if the employee is under 18 the deduction or payment is not agreed to in writing by a parent or guardian.

Sub-sec(2) provides that the Fair Work Regulations may prescribe circumstances in which a such deduction or payment is or is not reasonable.

Regulation 2.12 provides as follows

Certain terms have no effect–reasonable deductions

             (1)  For subsection 326(2) of the Act, a circumstance in which a deduction mentioned in subsection 326(1) of the Act is reasonable is that:

                     (a)  the deduction is made in respect of the provision of goods or services:

                              (i)  by an employer, or a party related to the employer; and

                             (ii)  to an employee; and

                     (b)  the goods or services are provided in the ordinary course of the business of the employer or related party; and

                     (c)  the goods or services are provided to members of the general public on:

                              (i)  the same terms and conditions as those on which the goods or services were provided to the employee; or

                             (ii)  on terms and conditions that are not more favourable to the members of the general public.

Example 1:    A deduction of health insurance fees made by an employer that is a health fund.

Example 2:    A deduction for a loan repayment made by an employer that is a financial institution.

             (2)  For subsection 326(2) of the Act, a circumstance in which a deduction mentioned in subsection 326(1) of the Act is reasonable is that the deduction is for the purpose of recovering costs directly incurred by the employer as a result of the voluntary private use of particular property of the employer by an employee (whether authorised or not).

Examples of costs

1     The cost of items purchased on a corporate credit card for personal use by the employee.

2     The cost of personal calls on a company mobile phone.

3     The cost of petrol purchased for the private use of a company vehicle by the employee.