Home > Earnings & Deductions > What Counts as Earnings?

What Counts as Earnings?

Author: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 13 August 2015 |
 
Earnings Csa Maintenance Child Deduction

The CSA calculates child maintenance payments on the basis of your income. One of the options for enforcement is taking a deduction from your earnings in order to satisfy your child maintenance payments. A Deduction from Earnings Order (DEO) is a secure method of collection of child maintenance as it is paid directly by the employer of the non-resident parent to the CSA, which then passes it on to the resident parent.

How Do DEOs Work?

DEOs work in a very similar way to Attachment of Earnings Orders, which are used to collect debts for things like county court judgments and fines. You should be aware that it is not up to your employer as to whether they should deduct earnings from your pay or not. It is a discretion of the CSA, and if an employer fails to cooperate with a DEO then they can be prosecuted and may also be required to pay a fine.

What Are My 'Earnings'?

It is sometimes confusing as to what ‘earnings’ actually are for these purposes, and it can leave you wondering how much of the money you receive will be deemed to be your earnings as regards child support payments.

For the purposes of the CSA, earnings are the funds that are taken into account after the deduction of income tax, national insurance contributions and pension contributions. Pension contributions must be regular, and lump sum payments are unlikely to count. If in doubt, you should seek advice on this.

Money That Is Not Classed As Earnings

Money that an individual receives that are not classed as ‘earnings’ include: statutory payments made by an employer for reasons of maternity, paternity, redundancy or adoption pay; tax credits; social security pension, benefit or allowance, any payments made under a disability pension or benefit; or a guarantee payment under social security pensions legislation. If you receive any of these kinds of payments and they are your sole income, your employer cannot use this payment to deduct child support from your earnings.

Money That Is Classed As Earnings

Employers can however deduct money from the following types of earnings: private pensions, occupational pensions; wages; overtime pay; bonuses; commission; or any payments that are made on top of a person’s wages. In addition, it is possible to deduct from an individual’s statutory sick pay. If your employer pays you ‘contractual’ maternity, paternity, redundancy or adoption pay, this is classed as ‘earnings’ and can be subjected to deductions for child maintenance.

Difference Between Contractual And Statutory Pay

The difference between ‘contractual’ and ‘statutory’ in these circumstances is that for contractual pay, the amount that you are paid is determined by your contract with your employer. ‘Statutory’ pay is a minimum amount of money to which you are entitled by law. Contractual pay is therefore higher than statutory pay. If you are receiving contractual pay in these circumstances, the deduction cannot be so high that it eats into your statutory pay.

If you are on statutory maternity, paternity or adoption pay, you may be subject to deductions from your earnings once you choose to return to work. This may be on a voluntary basis, or you may be required to do so.

You might also like...
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
[Add a Comment]
Mop head - Your Question:
My husband has recently left us. He earns approx £38,000 per annum what child maintenance do you think he should pay for his 12 year old? Thankyou

Our Response:
. I have included a link to the Child Maintenance Options Calculator here which should help you. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Aug-15 @ 12:48 PM
My husband has recently left us. He earns approx £38,000 per annum what child maintenance do you think he should pay for his 12 year old?Thankyou
Mop head - 13-Aug-15 @ 3:32 PM
If your circumstances have changed and your earnings have reduced, then the CSA should take this into account accordingly. If you receive this payment and it is your 'sole' income, your employer cannot use this payment to deduct child support from your earnings. ‘Statutory’ pay is a minimum amount of money to which you are entitled by law and you can't be expected to continue to pay at the same rate if you are earning less. I'd get back on to the CSA!
PamZ - 10-Aug-15 @ 1:47 PM
I'm currently on maternity leave receiving smp and csa say I still have to pay ? Yet when I read your list tax credits and smp are not 'earnings therefore don't count'the lady called from csa saying as they are not aloud to take the payment from my wages by law I need to make card payments , I'm just confused if you can't take it legally by law from my account how is me making a payment by card any different my money is the same either way ? Surely I shouldn't be eligible for payment until I return to work in which case my payments return to what they was before I went on smp and not have any arrears ?
Confused - 8-Aug-15 @ 7:17 AM
Hi, Just briefly, my ex has recently received a very large lump sum of money (hundreds of thousands of pounds).She is not working and has not worked for years.She refuses to pay any child support and the CMA have said she does not have to pay me anything - due to having "no income".Clearly, someone with a huge amount of money in the bank does not need to work and has no intention of it.There are arrears which are being pursued but I am told I have no options in terms of getting support for my children who I have full custody of. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can pursue the money I need to support my children? Thanks in advance.
Penfold - 4-Aug-15 @ 5:02 PM
My partner divorced 10 years ago & has 2 sons and pays CSA regularly. We have a child too.His divorce was "clean break" in that he gave his ex wife everything but kept his pension. He retires in 5 years and is due a considerable lump sum. Will the CSA want a share of this to be given to his ex wife?
mel656 - 3-Aug-15 @ 10:24 PM
My ex husband has informed me he will be being made redundant in October this year .Will my payments stop ? Is his lumpsum of redundancy not taken into account for child maintenance ? What about his partner supporting ? Is there no engorcement for such scenarios ? Thank you
Mandy - 3-Aug-15 @ 6:03 PM
Can I contact my ex's employer for proof of earnings? Are they legally obliged to disclose? My ex is a professional dancer and is the lead in a very high profile production for Matthew Bourne. He features on all the posters and is earning a significant salary but has claimed he is earning £16k a year and paying £25 a week.
Confusedmum - 3-Aug-15 @ 8:24 AM
@Dozey - as suggested in the article, for the purposes of the CSA, 'earnings' are the funds that are taken into account after the deduction of income tax, national insurance contributions and pension contributions. Therefore savings are not considered to be part of your earnings.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Jul-15 @ 2:40 PM
@Red66 -The CMS/CSA will calculate your payments based on his earnings, so if he is not earning over particular periods of the year, I'm afraid they will take this into account when assessing his child support.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Jul-15 @ 9:56 AM
Can any or my savings that I have be counted in for child support?
Dozey - 12-Jul-15 @ 8:51 AM
My husband works, I don't I had to give up work due to ill health and to care for my grown up daughter who has mental health problem, I get 73.10 a week so this mine and what my husband earns some months doesn't even cover the bill, can they do this to us even if it forces us to lose our home.
Red66 - 11-Jul-15 @ 1:20 AM
@Dp - As specified in the article, money that an individual receives that are not classed as ‘earnings’ include: statutory payments made by an employer for reasons of maternity, paternity, redundancy or adoption pay; tax credits; social security pension, benefit or allowance, any payments made under a disability pension or benefit; or a guarantee payment under social security pensions legislation. However, you may have to let the CSA know about money that is due to your loss of earnings, especially if it affected CSA payments to your ex.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jun-15 @ 2:07 PM
Im getting alarge some of money,of loss of earning from my previous job,can the csa touch it? At the end of the day its a one of lump sum,which wont be taxed.
Dp - 12-Jun-15 @ 6:45 PM
@Foxy - With regards to CSA income is classed as; earnings from employment, taxable profits from self-employment, money from an occupational or personal pension and also in some instances, tax credits. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-May-15 @ 2:35 PM
Morning. I will be retiring at the age of 55 in 3 years time. I will have a pension of & £10,000 per year. Can the Csa take part of this pension to pay for my child's maintenance. Many thanks
Foxy - 14-May-15 @ 9:07 AM
@Query -It might be that your ex would have to agree to a family-based arrangement as it is more flexible and easier to change, especially if you suddenly find yourself out of work. See CMS link here. Should you need any further advice, you should call the CMS directly as it can give you the official line. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-May-15 @ 12:21 PM
Hi, could someone respond to my question of 17th April about temporary work please?
Query - 7-May-15 @ 5:51 PM
@pauly - you have come through on a site regarding child support laws, so we can't really answer this question. I can only suggest you contact the Pensions Advisory Service via the link here . I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-May-15 @ 2:15 PM
@Atwitsend - I am very sorry to hear this and if you think you have been treated unfairly by the CSA, you should make a complaint via the link here. You will need to see what the resolution is and if the resolution still says it is the responsibility of your employer, then it might have to be that you would have to take your employer to the small claims court. At least it would then be decided by the courts 'who' should have to repay you the overpayment, as it is no fault of your own. I hope they have managed to rectify the payments now, which will allow you to take better care of your child. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-May-15 @ 12:09 PM
My employer has made a mistake when calculating the amount of my wages which should be sent through a DEO to the CSA. They have left me with less than 60% which they are required to do, this has left me with no money to feed my 13 year old son who lives with me. The CSA have told me it is up to my employer to refund the overpayment who can then claim it back from the CSA. My employer refuses to admit they have made a mistake, even though the CSA has informed them. I am stuck in the middle of all this with a child I can not afford to feed. I really am at my wits end, if the CSA were a debt collection agency there actions would be illegal.
Atwitsend - 5-May-15 @ 9:09 PM
I have taken an occupational pension at the age of 54 on the grounds of disability. Because of this my ESA and Housing benefit has been drastically reduced. Therefore I am no better off. Under the new Pension changes,if I completely take all of my pension pot as a lump sum,what effect will this have on my benefits ?
pauly - 5-May-15 @ 4:09 PM
Could I ask what the situation is with temporary work and child maintenance? I'm currently unemployed and so pay no CM. If I work for a couple of weeks how would the CMO asses CM? If they assessed it as a regular income then I would end up paying too much over time, possibly more than I earned. The calculation should be the amount of CM payable for those two weeks only, but I suspect they wouldn't do it that way. Could anyone please explain?
Query - 17-Apr-15 @ 10:52 AM
@tinsmith - You would need to seek advice on this by going direct to the CSA or CMS, if your child maintenance is taken via there, or perhaps the Citizens Advice Bureau or Pensions Advisory Service. However, in more general terms pension lump sums and pensions can affect means testeds benefits. Lump sums are normally classed as savings, and pension as income. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Apr-15 @ 10:52 AM
If I were to take s ok me money out if a pension pot, would this be classed as earnings that cm would be payable against? So confusing!
tinsmith - 3-Apr-15 @ 9:08 AM
@Viking - so basically the CSA is saying is the fact you don't pay rent gives you more disposable income. I don't really have an answer to this I'm afraid as this is the CSA law and I certainly couldn't advise on finding loopholes in the system. However, if you are unhappy with the ruling you can complain via the link here. You would have to really justify that you were earning less than someone on a low income that both has to pay rent and still has to pay child support.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Mar-15 @ 11:06 AM
@maybe - I don't imagine they would as expenses are not income.
Gary - 13-Mar-15 @ 2:29 PM
I live in NZ and pay my child support to the NZIRD who then transfer the sum to the CSA. I have just had a new assessment carried out by the CSA, I live rent free due to my low income, my parents own the property, their feelings are as I am paying child support this will help me survive in life. The recent assessment by the CSA are claiming the rent I am not paying is being classed as income, so this means an increase with my payments. I feel this is grossly unfair, as it appears to me they are simply creating income that does not exist. Please advise me in this matter, thank you.
Viking - 12-Mar-15 @ 9:56 PM
Hi, I am a temporary worker and I am wondering if the csa will make a deduction against my gross pay, this is reduced using my expenses, for example; If I earn £400 gross and I have £100 expenses, the expenses are deducted before tax & NI, so I get taxed * NI on £300, please can you help
maybe - 12-Mar-15 @ 2:04 PM
@bobby - it may come under 'other financial commitments in child maintenance cases', see link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Mar-15 @ 2:53 PM
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.