Are Learnership Stipend Deductions Allowed?

Are Learnership Stipend Deductions Allowed? Can employers deduct from learner stipends? What if the deductions push the stipend paid below minimum pay? Clause 7 of Sectoral Determination 5: Learnerships covers stipend deductions.

Learnership Stipend Deductions and Repayments

There are complaints about some employers making stipend deductions and others requiring learners to repay stipends upon resignation. The Department of Labour posted minimum rates for stipends ad learners may not earn less than these rates.

Do You Have Complaints? Learnership Stipend Deductions

The following are comments posted on Keep Climbing by learners questioning stipend deductions.

Businesses named are welcome to send responses. Learner names are removed as some are still in the situation they have written about and should be protected.

: Learnership Stipend Deductions


Sometimes we don’t get a full stipend and if ever you are absent they deduct the stipend. Does it happen that a stipend is being deducted as it is not a salary?

My academy is Artisan Development Academy in Berea Road Durban. And if you need PPE”S they give us cheap Chinese material. I am very worried about this academy because they make our lives miserable. Please help!

31 January 2015: Pay back the Money

I was part of an 18 month learner financial advisor program at PSG wealth. This was a sales driven learnership and our monthly stipend was as follows:

R10 000 from Jan-April (plus commision)
R8000 from May – Aug (plus commision)
R6000 from September – December (plus commission)
R3500 from January – March (plus Commision)
R1500 from April 2017 – July 2017 (plus commission)

I had just graduated.
I was not meeting my sales targets and I was coming under pressure financially.
So I resigned recently and they sent me an acknowledgement of debt for the allowance I have been receiving since the beginning of the learnership. The debt I will owe if I sign is R10 5000. How should I go about this because I’m unemployed and I don’t know how I am going to repay this money.

: Learnership Stipend Deductions

We recently got a learnership in Robertville, a gumboot making company.Our issue here is that our stipend is being deducted for: provident fund, uif, agency fee(which we don’t know about) council levy and NBC sick fund.We were not told of the deductions before we commenced,
The deductions amounted to 33% of the gross wage since they paid us for one day, and on our payslips for job title instead of it stating learner it stated general worker. When we asked, they said it’s the 1st time the company ran a learnership and they have to update the system.So what must we do mam please help.

Hi Leonie Hall
For a full week we worked. We are promised R600 weekly stipend.
And for that week we worked only one day which supposed to have amounted to R120 but after deductions it was R70.

: Stipend deductions and no contract

We have problem at Royal Bafokeng institute with our stipend. It was supposed to be R1000.00 but they give us R655.00. We need to know what is the exact amount we supposed to get?We did not sign any contract. Why do we get paid late.Our problem is that we don’t know whether the stipend we get is R1000.00 or R1500.00

Employers must ensure an understanding of payment terms and conditions

It may be possible that not ALL companies are aware of when they are breaking the law. This does not mean that they are not responsible for wrongdoing,  they have access to resources and hire professionals who are supposed to be informed. When a company says, “we didn’t know” it indicates negligence and a lack of corporate responsibility and integrity.

Employers should explain learnership pay slips to learners and ensure a full understanding of deductions.

Sectoral Determination 5: Learnerships Conditions for Deductions


The following is extracted directly from Sectoral Determination 5: Learnerships Clause 7

An employer may not make any deduction from a learner’s remuneration unless-

subject to subclause (2), the learner in writing agrees to the deduction in respect of a debt specified in the agreement; or the deduction is required or permitted in terms of a law, collective agreement, court order or arbitration award.

  • A deduction may be made to reimburse an employer for loss or damage only if-
    • the loss or damage occurred in the course of employment and was due to the fault of the learner;
    • the employer has followed a fair procedure and has given the learner a reasonable opportunity to show why the deductions should not be made;
    • the total amount of the debt does not exceed the actual amount of the loss or damage; and
    • 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.
  • A deduction in respect of any goods purchased by the learner must specify the nature and quantity of the goods.
    • An employer who deducts an amount from a learner’s remuneration 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.
  • An employer may not require or permit a learner to-
    • repay any remuneration except for overpayments previously made by the employer resulting from an error in calculating the learner’s remuneration; or
    • acknowledge receipt of an amount greater than the remuneration actually received.

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.

Conclusion: No Learnership Stipend Deductions

Employers must comply with the sectoral determination. Learners must agree to deductions in writing and the deductions may not make them earn less than the minimum rates.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Mfanuvele

    I have been in learnership from August and I have not received my stipend they tell us it the payroll and they are not keeping us up dated.

  2. Remano

    Do u guys have a number I ahold of guy on advice

  3. Karabo

    Regarding stipend deductions in our company our stipends are frozen because we did not submit our POE and other deductions are for learner material.

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