Deduction from Earnings Orders – CMEC to pilot DEOs as primary method of collectionMonday, October 13th, 2008
In a Written Ministerial Statement on 15 September 2008, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced that the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) is to pilot the use of Deduction from Earnings Orders (DEOs) as the primary method of collection for employed non-resident parents. Compliance rates for DEOs are second only to those for direct debits. The following is an extract from the statement:
The design and timing of the pilot will need to be carefully planned so it cannot begin immediately. But the Commission is determined to improve compliance as soon as possible in order to get more money flowing to children. It is therefore intending to make use of the new power through regulations which will enable the Commission to implement an interim approach to the collection of child maintenance in order to increase compliance.
This will mean that non-resident parents who have not already agreed a method of paying their child maintenance will be offered the choice of either a direct debit or a deduction from earnings order—the payment methods with the best compliance rates. An alternative method of payment will only be used where the non-resident parent can not pay by direct debit and there is good reason for a deduction from earnings order not to be used. There will be a right of appeal to a Magistrates Court (or sheriff in Scotland) against a decision by the Commission that there is no good reason for a DEO not to be used.
The change, which the Commission plans to introduce by the end of this year, will not affect those non-resident parents who pay their maintenance direct to the parent with care or who have their child maintenance payments deducted from their benefit. And non-resident parents who have already agreed a payment method with the Commission before the change is introduced will be able to continue to pay by their chosen method.
Daily Hansard – Written Ministerial Statements
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