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Garnishee Orders and the Weekly Compensation Amount

Thursday, August 04, 2016 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

We have had some situations of late where Garnishee Orders for Wages or Salary are being filed however the employer has been unable to comply with the Order as the Judgment Debtor is not earning over the Weekly Compensation amount.

This leads to a situation where deductions are not being made which means that deductions are not being made to reduce your debt.

What is the Weekly Compensation Amount?

s122 of the Civil Procedure Act states:

1. The amounts attached under one or more garnishee orders must not, in total, reduce the net weekly amount of any wage or salary received by the Judgment Debtor from the Garnishee to less than $447.70 as adjusted under Division 6 of Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 .
1 (a). The amount of $447.70 referred to in subsection (1) is an 
"adjustable amount" for the purposes of Division 6 of Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 .
2. In this section: 
"net weekly amount" , in relation to any wage or salary payable to a Judgment Debtor, means the amount payable each week to the Judgment Debtor after deducting any taxes or other sums that, pursuant to any Act (including any Commonwealth Act), are required to be deducted from any such money.

Effectively this means that the Judgment Debtor can retain an amount of $480.50 (effective from 01/04/2016).

What Are Your Options?

Several options remain to you if the Judgment Debtor is not earning over the Weekly Compensation amount however for the purpose of this article we will only discuss 2 possible solutions.

The most obvious solution is to have the Judgment Debtor apply for an Instalment Order at the Local Court. This offer for payment by the Judgment Debtor removes the protections that they have under s122 of the Act and deductions must be made for the amount that the Instalment Order is made for.

Alternatively you may consider, if you have details of the financial institution that the Judgment Debtor banks with, the issue of a Garnishee Order for Debts. This Order attaches to any / all monies held in the Judgment Debtors bank account with that particular financial institution and is not subject to s122 of the Act.

Need More Information?

If you need more information about enforcement of a Garnishee Order please contact us.

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