Employers are legally bound to perform the additional administration and resource-intensive capturing associated with garnishee orders. They are also compelled to manage payment distribution tasks. These burdens are compounded by complaints, queries and attempts to abuse or even use the garnishee mechanism to commit fraud.
Q LINK removes this burden from the employer and takes responsibility for handling all interactions from debt collectors, including queries, complaints and demands. This is a major advantage for employers, given that court-issued Emolument Attachment Orders (EAOs), more commonly known as garnishee orders, place an increased legal burden on employers with the introduction of the Courts of Law Amendment Act.
Garnishee orders present various problems for employers and employees. One is the inability of the legal system to control garnishee orders, leading to abuses on a very large scale, at the expense of helpless employees.
The audits Q LINK have performed show that garnishee orders are over-deducted by an average amount of R1000 per order, and that many are invalid or irregular in one way or another. Owing to the legalities, the garnishee order process for a payroll is paper based and manual, taking up valuable time and effort.
Large numbers of queries and enquiries from employees have to be dealt with. In addition, debt collectors often abuse the lack of legal skills of payroll staff by making frequent demands and insisting on changes to balances and extension of payment terms. The manual nature of the process and the sheer volumes of court orders involved open the door to inefficiencies, errors and irregularities.
At Q LINK, we believe the solution to the challenges with garnishee orders is to introduce an intelligent service in front of the payroll. This “gatekeeper” intercepts all incoming garnishee orders and subjects them to thorough legal scrutiny before passing them on to the payroll.
All invalid orders, double deductions and unaffordable amounts are filtered out and routed into a fully-fledged legal process that deals with the matter to the letter of the law, alleviating the burden on the payroll. Manual capturing of verified garnishee orders is eliminated, and deductions are interfaced to the payroll under controlled conditions.
The Q LINK garnishee order outsource service removes the tedious and time-consuming manual work associated with garnishee orders. After the employer has physically received an order and signing for it (as required by the law), the garnishee order is uploaded via a web-upload facility on the Q LINK system. It then becomes our responsibility to affect the deduction.
Payroll staff spend minimal time and effort uploading the documents. More importantly, Q LINK takes over the responsibility of handling all interactions with debt collectors, including queries, complaints and demands.
The Q LINK service comprehensively verifies the validity and legality of the contents of every garnishee order, which prevents unlawfully inflated amounts from being paid to unscrupulous debt collectors.
Apart from dealing with the garnishee order, the Q LINK solution checks the underlying debt that gave rise to the garnishee order. This is important as there are many cases where the court order is valid and correct, but the underlying debt is unlawful. Subject to negotiations with the employer, it is possible to assess the affordability of a new garnishee order. These possibilities are explored during the planning of the implementation.
Q LINK eliminates the irregular interaction between debt collectors and the payroll, and takes the responsibility for all appropriate contact during the lifetime of the garnishee order. Debt collectors quickly learn that any interactions with the payroll are futile, and that any claims for balance increases or additional legal costs are handled by Q LINK, and not the payroll.
Q LINK performs accurate balance management of every garnishee order. This includes correctly applying interest according to the court order and in strict compliance with the stipulations of section 65 or 74 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act and the National Credit Act.
We also provide the correct repayment plan to the debt collector in advance, thus preventing any claims or debates about additional costs.
The interface with the payroll ensures that balances on the payroll are managed, and that an order is terminated as soon as it is paid up.
In addition to scrutinising all new incoming garnishee orders, Q LINK performs an audit of all existing garnishee orders on the payroll. This reduces irregular orders and facilitates refunds to employees who have already overpaid.
Q LINK takes care of all complaints, queries and demands from debt collectors, as well as employees.
The garnishee outsource solution is a comprehensive offering capable of handling the entire EAO process for an employer. All the employer’s orders are maintained on our system and deductions are uploaded periodically onto the employer’s payroll and bank systems. The main purpose of the service is to:
This is achieved by providing a wide spectrum of service components and systems that are geared to successfully eliminating the time-wasting interaction between the payroll department and the many parties in the EAO process.