Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th February 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the number of deductions of earnings orders, rather than deductions of earnings requests, being issued by the Child Maintenance Service to the Ministry of Defence's Defence Business Services.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Deduction from Earnings Orders (DEO) are applied as a method of payment where the Child Maintenance Service deducts maintenance directly from the Paying Parent’s wages. The DEO is primarily used to enforce payments but can be set up voluntarily. Deduction from Earnings Requests are similar to a Deduction from Earnings Order but used for Paying Parents who are serving members of the Armed Forces. The Child Maintenance Service can only request a deduction to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), unlike civilian employers they cannot order or enforce payment. MOD policy aims to comply with requests however if the Paying Parent is committed to operational duties MOD may suspend the collection of debt.

Child Maintenance Service takes action to ensure the correct method of payment is applied through identifying whether a Paying Parent is in the Armed Forces through its use of Real Team Information (RTI) Data taken from HMRC. This provides up to date information about Pay As You Earn income as the information submitted by employers online is displayed in RTI immediately. To ensure that the correct method of payment is used for a Paying Parent who is serving in the Armed Forces caseworkers are provided with step by step procedural instructions and training.

As at September 2021 Child Maintenance Service had 45,054 Deduction from Earnings Orders and 479 Deduction from Earnings Requests in operation. (source - Published stats – stat-xplore – CMS Paying Parents = method of payments).

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No1 person thinks not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.