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Wage attachment: what are the employer's obligations?

Verified 01 April 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Wage foreclosure (or wage foreclosure) is the process of taking a portion of an employee's salary, regardless of their employment contract, to pay off their debt. The employer pays a portion of the employee's remuneration directly to the creditor.

The employer shall be informed by notification (registered letter with notice of receipt) of a act of attachment (or notice of attachment).

Within 15 days, he must inform the court:

  • the situation of the employee in the company (for example, a fixed-term contract or a permanent contract)
  • and any other ongoing seizures of this employee.

An employer who fails to inform the court registry may be sentenced up to €10,000 of fine. He may also be ordered to pay damages.

Every month, the employer must pay to the court registry the seizable sum, without interruption until the end of the seizure notified by the Registrar. An employer who fails to make such payments may be ordered to pay the employee's debt personally.

At any time, the employer must inform the court of a change that may suspend or terminate the seizure (e.g. sick leave of the employee concerned), within 8 days.

Under no circumstances may the creditor apply directly to the employer for seizure. However, in the case of maintenance, the act of attachment can be directly made by a commissioner of justice (formerly bailiff and judicial auctioneer).

Seizable part

Only part of the remuneration is liable to seizure.

The calculation of the portions of salary that can be entered is based on a scale which takes into account the level of remuneration and the family responsibilities of the employee (spouse, Civil partnerships: titleContent or the spouse, dependent children and ascendant with less than €607.75, corresponding to the lump sum of RSA: titleContent).

It is possible to estimate the maximum amount that can be seized:

Estimate the amount of wage attachment (or wage attachment)

Calculation method

The calculation shall be made on the net salary after deduction of the levy at source.

Seizable proportions shall be determined on the basis of annual remuneration.

However, since the deduction is, in practice, made by the employer at the time of each pay, it is necessary to determine the portion to be deducted according to the periodicity of the pay, generally each month. The employer must therefore average the net wages for the last 12 months.

In the case where the employee has been in the company for less than 12 months, the employer must make the calculation in proportion to the number of months present.

Amount left at the disposal of the debtor

A minimum amount must be left to the employee. This elusive portion is the amount of the SSA for a single person (regardless of the number of dependants), or €607.75.

Warning  

the nature and amount of the amount seized must be indicated on the pay slip, or penalties may be imposed.

If the employee concerned has more than one employer, the court determines which employers are responsible for making the deductions.

If one of them can pay the full amount, he will be responsible for the seizure.

In the presence of several creditors, the employer must respect the descending order of deductions (from priority to least important):

  1. Maintenance payments
  2. Taxes and taxes
  3. Criminal Convictions
  4. Claims less than €500
  5. Other claims in ascending order of amounts due

Treasury departments may use a third-party holder notice to collect unpaid tax or tax.

Priority creditors are those whose claims are less than €500. Priority for payment shall be established in the ascending order of sums due.

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