Pay and recurring income

Pay and other recurring income can be garnished. Such income includes

  • pensions,
  • earnings-related daily unemployment allowances,
  • maternity allowances, and
  • sickness allowances.

Holiday pay, fringe benefits, commissions and fees are also considered as pay. The amount of garnishment is calculated from the debtor’s total income and benefits.

The garnished amount is calculated from the debtor’s net income, i.e. the income remaining after withholding tax, pension contributions and unemployment insurance contributions have been deducted.

Social assistance and allowances, such as labour market subsidies, housing allowances and child allowances, cannot be garnished.

Debtor's protected portion

A protected portion is calculated for the garnishment of recurring income. If the debtor’s income is less than the protected portion, no garnishment will be carried out. If the income exceeds the protected portion, the statutory percentage will be garnished.

In the calculation of the protected portion, due note is taken of the persons supported by the debtor, including the spouse and minor children and adopted children of the debtor or their spouse, if residing in the same household. For these purposes, “spouse” refers to the debtor’s wife or husband, cohabiting partner of the opposite sex, or registered partner of the same sex.

Advance notice and prohibiton on payments

The debtor is sent an advance notice of the garnishment, indicating the debt that is being enforced, the protected portion, and the time of the garnishment. If the information in the advance notice is incorrect, the debtor should contact the enforcement officer in charge of the matter.

Once the garnishment has been effected, the enforcement officer issues a prohibiton on payments to the payer of the debtor’s wages, salary or pension, who is thereafter required to withhold the garnished amount. The garnishment will continue until the debt has been repaid. The debt can be repaid at any stage of the enforcement process, after which the garnishment will be cancelled. Debtors can also make payments through the electronic enforcement service, where they can additionally view all decisions related to the garnishment.

The debtor may appeal against the garnishment to a district court. Appeals and other legal remedies available to the debtor are described in more detail in the section If you are dissatisfied .

Here you can use payment prohibition calculator.

Published 11.1.2023