Direct Earnings Attachment: DWP Guide for Employers


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Posted on 15 Apr 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions has published a guide for employers explaining what they need to do if they are asked to implement a direct earnings attachment (DEA). 

A DEA is a method used by Debt Management, part of the DWP, to recover money owed to it by former recipients of benefits. Unlike the Attachment of Earnings Order process, the DWP does not have to go through the civil courts to issue a DEA. Although DEAs were introduced in April 2013, their use was limited to a small sample of cases, but from April 2014 they will be used more widely.

The guidance provides information on what a DEA is, how a DEA operates, how to calculate a DEA, an employer’s responsibilities, DEA exemptions and how to make payments to the DWP. There is also a more detailed guide containing worked examples.

Employers who fail to comply with a notice to operate a DEA may face a fine of up to £1,000.

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