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Pento currently supports automatic calculations for DEAs (Direct Earnings Attachment) and CTAEOs (Council Tax Attachment of Earnings Order) only. We will be introducing automatic calculations for other AEOs soon.
What is a Direct Earnings Attachment?
A Direct Earnings Attachment is used to recover benefit overpayments and covers all types of benefits that are administered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). They can also be used by local authorities to recover housing benefit overpayments.
A DEA has its own regulations and operates differently from other orders such as a Deduction from Earnings Order (DEO), AEO and Council Tax Attachment of Earnings Order (CTAEO).
A DEA does not replace any of these other orders and in some circumstances, employers may receive requests to implement deductions for multiple orders for the same employee.
What are your obligations?
You have a legal obligation to implement a DEA once it has been received, for further guidance on your obligations, please refer to DWP's Employer's Guide:
Pento will automatically deduct the employee's periodic deduction based on the information you enter for them. There are three options when applying a DEA:
- DEA at the Standard Rate;
- DEA at the Higher Rate;
- DEA at a fixed rate.
Where the DEA is applied at the standard rate, the maximum that can be taken from someone’s wages is 20%; where it is applied at the higher rate, up to 40% of someone’s net earnings can be taken, however, DEAs always have a protected earnings rate of 60%
For further guidance on how DEAs are calculated, please refer to DWP's Employer's Guide:
Adding a DEA to an employee in Pento
To add a DEA to an employee, please follow the steps below:
- Select Employees from the left sidebar
- Search for the relevant employee
- Select the Pay items tab
- Select Add pay item
- From the list of predefined pay items, select Attachment of Earnings
- You will see a screen similar to the below:
Type of Order
- Select DEA from the Type of order dropdown list
- Enter the Employee's National Insurance number
Start of Order
- Enter the date the order should start in Pento
Please note - The deductions will be applied to the employee from the next available payroll that falls on or after 22 days following the start date of the order. i.e. If the order start date is 24th November 2021, and your payday is 30th November 2021, the deductions will start in the December payroll.
Total amount owed
- Enter the total sum owed. You can find this in the attachment letter
Has any of the total amount owed already been repaid?
- Please select Yes if the employee has repaid any amount toward the total order. This can include any repayment in a previous tax year
- Once selected, you will see further options similar to the below screenshot:
Amount repaid to date
- Enter the total amount already repaid
Of that in the current tax year
- Enter the total amount repaid in the current tax year only
DEAs have a set protected earnings amount of 60% of the employee’s net earnings. This means that for each pay period where a DEA calculation is applicable, after adding the amount of the DEA to the total amount of other orders that may already be in place, your employee is left with at least 60% of their net wage.
Enable fixed amount per payroll
In some circumstances, DWP may apply a fixed rate deduction amount for an employee.
- Select Enable fixed amount per payroll if the notice states a fixed deduction
- Enter the Deduction per payroll as per the figure on the notice
- Select Standard rate if the notice states the DEA should be applied at the standard rate
- Select Higher rate if the notice states the DEA should be applied at the higher rate
- Select Next
You can choose if you would like the repayments to DWP to be made via Pento, or if you will be making the payments directly outside of Pento.
Pay order via Pento
Select Pay order via Pento if you would like to make payment to DWP via your Pento account. Once selected, you will be prompted to enter the recipient's bank details. Once entered, please select Next.
Pay manually outside of Pento
Please select Pay manually outside of Pento if you will be making payment to DWP directly. By choosing the manual payment method, you will be responsible for making payments within the specified timeframes in accordance with the order notice.
For the correct payment reference and account details, please refer to DWP's Employer's Guide:
Once you have entered all the required information, you will see a summary page similar to the below screenshot:
If you have entered any information incorrectly, you can select Back to amend the details.
Select Save & Close once you are happy with the details.