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What can my employer deduct from my pay?

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What can my employer deduct from my pay?
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Ministry of Labour
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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What can my employer deduct from my pay?
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Reviewed: 
June 8, 2018
Answer

The law says that your employer must take money from your pay for things like:

  • income tax
  • Employment Insurance (EI) premiums
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions

These are called "statutory deductions". Your employer sends this money to the government.

The government knows that the payments are for you because your employer includes your Social Insurance Number with the payments.

Other types of deductions

Your employer can take money from your pay if a court orders it. The court order tells the employer how much money and who to pay it to. You might hear this called having your wages "garnished".

For example, if a court orders you to pay child support, the court can order your employer to take this money from your pay and send it to the Family Responsibility Office.

There may be other amounts that your employer can take from your pay. But you have to agree in writing that your employer can do this.

For example, you could agree that your employer can take the cost of a uniform from your pay. The agreement has to say exactly how much your employer will take or how it will be figured out.

If there is a union

If you are covered by a union, the collective agreement may include deductions your employer must make. For example:

  • union dues
  • payments for health benefits
  • payments into a pension plan

Illegal deductions

Your employer is not allowed to take money from your pay because they say you didn't do a good job.

For example, your employer cannot take money because they say:

  • you broke some tools or equipment
  • there was something wrong with a product that you made
  • you made a mistake that cost them money

The law also says that your employer cannot take money from your pay to cover missing cash or property, unless both of the following are true:

  • You were the only person who could have taken it.
  • You agree in writing that your employer can do this.

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