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Direct Earnings Attachment

A Direct Earnings Attachment (DAE) allows us to recover the money owed to us by asking your employer to make deductions from your earnings and to pay those deductions to us.

It is possible for the council to apply for a DEA when:

  • an invoice remains unpaid 30 days after the date that it was issued
  • if we are unable to reach an agreement on recovery

Your employer has a legal duty to make the deduction. The amount that can be deducted will depend on the amount of your net earnings each week or month.

Your employer has a duty to inform you in writing of the amount of the deduction including any amount for administrative costs.

Deductions will continue until the balance of the debt has been repaid.

The law allows us to do this without applying to a civil court and your employer is legally bound to comply if requested to do so.

Regulations provide that a proportion of your earnings are protected. This is calculated at 60% of net earnings.

The amount your employer will take each time you are paid will depend on the amount of your earnings and could be up to 20% of your net earnings.

Administrative costs

Your employer may also charge you an administration fee; this will not exceed £1 for each payment deducted from your earnings.

For each pay period a DEA deduction is calculated, your employer may also take up to £1 from your earnings towards administrative costs. This can be taken even if it reduces your income below the protected earnings proportion.

Legal responsibilities

You are legally required to notify us in writing within 7 days if:

  • you leave your current employment
  • you become re-employed

Such a notification must include the following information:

  • the name and address of your new employer(s)
  • the amount of your earnings or expected earnings
  • your place of work
  • the nature of your work
  • any staff number, payroll number or similar identifying number

Help and advice

If you would like any independent advice on this matter, you can contact a local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Amounts to be deducted by your employer

The table below shows the amounts to be deducted by your employer.

Table showing percentage of net earnings against daily, weekly and monthly earnings.

Daily earnings (£)

Weekly earnings (£)

Monthly earnings (£)

Percentage of net earnings (%)

Less than £15

Less than £100

Less than £430

Nil

Between £15 and £23

Between £100 and £160

Between £430 and £690

3

Between £23 and £32

Between £160 and £220

Between £690 and £950

5

Between £32 and £39

Between £220 and £270

Between £950 and £1160

7

Between £39 and £54

Between £270 and £375

Between £1160 and £1615

11

Between £54 and £75

Between £375 and £520

Between £1615 and £2240

15

More than £75

More than £520

More than £2240

20

Using the deductions table

Net earnings are gross pay, less income tax, Class 1 National Insurance and superannuation contributions.

The protected earnings level

The total of all deductions (the DEA plus any other deductions in place) cannot leave you with less than the protected earnings proportion. This is 60% of your total net earnings during the calculating period to which the deduction relates.

If you are paid every 2 weeks

If you are paid every 2 weeks, the total net wage is divided by 2. The table is used to check the percentage rate.

If you are paid every 4 weeks

If you are paid every 4 weeks, the total net wage is divided by 4. The table is used to check the percentage rate.

Contact information

Welfare and Housing Service

Make an enquiry