Higher amounts exempted from wage garnishments in 2021

20.10.2020

The amount exempted from garnishment is based on the minimum wage, and in 2021 the lowest salary will go up. How much can an employee's-debtor's pay be reduced? 

The mechanism for the amounts exempted from garnishments is aimed to protect an employee-debtor from the excessive reduction of his or her salary if part of it is subject to bailiff's enforcement or voluntary offsetting. The amount not covered by the reduction is mainly calculated on the basis of the minimum remuneration in force in a given year.

In 2021, the minimum pay will be PLN 2800, and in consequence of the increase the amount exempted from garnishment will be increased. However, the following variables also play a significant role when calculating this amount:

  • the dimension of the employee's working time as specified in a contract of employment,
  • the type of salary reduction,
  • participation and contributions made to the PPK,
  • tax-deductible costs and a sum reducing monthly tax advances, if applicable,
  • the so-called "zero PIT" if applicable, and any changes in the employee's salary or family situation resulting from an epidemic and the application of anti-crisis shield solutions.

The amounts exempted from garnishments in 2021 and the working time

The working time has an impact on the amounts exempted from garnishments. Full-time and part-time employees can expect different amounts to be withheld from their salaries. Social security contributions and participation in PPK also affect such deductions.

A full-time employee whose remuneration is to compensate for claims other than maintenance payments shall be entitled to a non-deductible amount equal to the minimum salary upon deduction of social, health, PIT and PPK contributions. However, when the cash advances granted to an employee are deducted, the amount protected is 75% of the salary, and when the cash penalties provided for in Art. 108 of the Polish Civil Code are deducted - 90% of the salary.

Other claims including sums enforced under maintenance titles may be deducted from the remuneration by an employer only with the written consent of an employee. It is also worth remembering that for persons under 26 years of age, the amounts exempted from garnishments will be different, as these persons are exempt from paying advances on income tax.

Amounts protected from garnishments and the contracts of mandate

With regard to the enforcement of claims from remunerations, since 1 January 2019, persons working under contracts of mandate have been equated with persons with permanent employment within the meaning of labour law. To determine the amounts exempted from garnishments from the remuneration of the debtor's contractor, the provisions of the Labour Code on the limit of garnishment and the amount exempted from garnishment apply, and Articles 87 and 871 of the Labour Code have been supplemented by recurring benefits intended to ensure the maintenance or constituting the debtor's only source of income.

Therefore, to determine the amount protected from garnishment for contractors, the minimum remuneration of full-time employees is taken as a basis, while in the case of doubts concerning the determination of enforcement from the contractor's-debtor`s remuneration, the legislator recommends contacting a bailiff or other enforcement authority.

Learn more: Shield 5.0: further exemptions from social security (ZUS) contributions for companies

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