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Home > News > 2020 > March > Union support protects member from rogue employer wage deduction

Union support protects member from rogue employer wage deduction

Pay_slip_web.jpgA member working in a Queensland Catholic school was recently shocked to discover $400 less in their weekly pay after an employer deduction was made with no correspondence or warning.

Assistance from our union ensured the member’s rights were enforced following this employer deduction, which was due to an overpayment.

Our member contacted their IEUA-QNT organiser for advice as to whether their employer had a right to deduct the full overpayment without discussing the situation with our member beforehand.


The query was passed onto Industrial Officer Danielle Wilson who confirmed our member’s agreement had provisions outlining a process for overpayment recovery which the employer did not comply with.

“Our member’s collective agreement had extensive provisions detailing how the employer is to handle an overpayment, which includes negotiation with the affected employee in regard to a repayment arrangement,” Danielle said. 

“The employer should have demonstrated how the debt occurred, confirmed the full amount overpaid and entered into a negotiation with our member to seek authority to deduct repayments."  

However, the employer did not do any of this before deducting the significant overpayment.

Our member had no warning that this was going to happen.

“Actions such as those of the employer in this situation are unacceptable and have serious effects on employees who may be relying on their full pay to meet financial commitments, which is why the provisions in the agreement exist," Danielle said.

“Our member was empowered by our advice and approached their employer about the overpayment deduction.

As a result our member was able to request that the employer reinstate the docked amount and negotiate a payment plan with the member that caused less financial strain.”

Expert advice when you need it

This example is just one of many our union is aware of in our sector in recent months. 

Our expert industrial team encourages members who may have had overpayments deducted without consultation to get in touch with our union.

We can determine if your employer had any right to deduct pay, and work with you to draft correspondence to your employer or make a formal representation on your behalf. 

Our union is here to help you ensure your rights at work are upheld and to provide you with expert advice and support you when you need it.

To contact our union’s Industrial Services team, email industrial@qieu.asn.au or FREECALL 1800 177 938.


Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.