Deductions from earnings in Manitoba Explained

While employers are responsible for paying employees for any hours worked, there are circumstances where deductions can be made from an employee’s salary or wages.  

However, typically the rule is that an employer can only deduct from an employee’s wages if: 

  • It is required by law. 
  • The employees agree to the deduction, and it is a direct benefit to them. 
  • To make up for payroll errors or cash advances. 

Examples of approved wage deductions include: 

  • Pay advances 
  • Payroll error corrections 
  • Cost of tools 
  • Photo radar tickets or red light camera tickets 
  • Cost of courses and training 
  • Cost of room and board 

It’s important to remember that you cannot deduct any money from an employee’s wages that the employee hasn’t agreed to or is not mandated by law. Failure to follow these rules could result in fines for noncompliance with the Employment Standards Code (ESC). 

Deductions mandated by law 

Certain deductions are mandated by law. Both the employer and employee have no say in whether or not an employee’s wages are deducted for reasons outlined in the legislation. 

These deductions include: 

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) 
  • Employment Insurance 
  • Garnishments issued by a court 
  • Income tax 

What wage deductions are not permitted? 

In Manitoba, the permitted examples of wage deductions are limited to those listed above. Anything else is not permitted, and doing so will land you in trouble with Employment Standards for not being in compliance with the ESC. 

For example, as an employer, you are allowed to implement a dress code and require that employees wear a uniform. However, you are not permitted to require that an employee pays for said uniform. A uniform typically would feature the company’s name, symbol, and logo and typically would serve no use to the employee outside of the workplace. 

Some other examples of non-permitted deductions include: 

  • To recover business expenses 
  • Cashing cheques 
  • Providing payroll advances for other employees 
  • To cover damage to company property 
  • To cover the cost of lost or broken tools, equipment, products 
  • To pay for a uniform
  • To cover personal safety equipment costs 

Still need help? 

If you are attempting to deduct from an employee’s wages but are unsure of the rules surrounding this, Employer Line is here to help. We’ll help ensure that you only deduct wages for approved reasons, which will help keep you protected from fines and penalties for non-compliance. Call Employer Line today at  1-888-219-8767, and an Employer Line expert will happy to answer your questions.