Direct Earnings Attachments: Who knew?

There can be very few people in the country who are not aware of the changes being introduced to the benefits system over the coming months, explains Helen Hargreaves of the CIPP.

News bulletins over recent weeks have informed us all about the contents of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.  We know about the introduction of Universal Credit which is replacing six benefits for those out of work or on a low income. We know that to make the Universal Credit system work HMRC has changed the way we report PAYE so employers now submit information in real time. But what most of us do not know is that...

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  • What is a Direct Earnings Attachment?
  • Applying a DEA
  • Don’t panic yet!
  • Let’s talk timing
  • Moving forward

Continued...

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Comments
coops456's picture

Unimpressed with DEA and DWP!

coops456 | | Permalink

As a bureau we have received our first DEA notice from DWP (Dept of Work & Pensions) and were dismayed to find the notice gives no indication of how much money the employee owes. With other attachments e.g. council tax, we are told that Mr X owes Local Borough Council £345.67 or whatever, and we can track the balance owing down to zero. With the DEA, we have no idea. The employee is weekly-paid. Subject to hours worked, imagine that we deduct the following:June: £55; July: £125; August: £70 Suppose that the employee owes £150.00 to DWP. We won't know that the July payment has cleared the debt and will carry on blithely deducting into August until DWP get around to telling us to stop. This seems very unfair on the employee - and also on the employer who has to deal with the fallout!  Council tax depts are always so helpful because they recognise that we are doing their job for them by acting as debt collectors. DWP have a very different attitude. I rang the "helpline" to find that DWP are hiding behind data protection and won't give any further information. Their overly-aggressive response adds insult to injury given the lack of consultation and the fact that we have to manually calculate the deduction. I would urge any payroll professionals who receive DEA notices during the pilot period to write to DWP and give feedback.

No advice that micro organisations are exempt

John Cotter | | Permalink

Received one of these DEA orders from DWP today for a client.

The documentation received does not say employers with fewer than 10 members of staff do not need to comply.

I am sending it back as my client has fewer than 10 employees.  Outrageous in my opinion,to place such an onerous demand on employers.

I should send it to David Cameron!  I thought the government were intent on reducing bureaucracy for employers.