A number of CIPP members had advised that they had been contacted by the Department of Work and Pension (DWP) and told to suspend all Direct Earning Attachment Orders (DEAs) processed via their payroll that had been issued by them.
Following research undertaken by the CIPP, the DWP issued a statement on their debt management telephone line advising that all debt management collection in relation to overpayments of benefits, tax credits and social funds have been suspended for a temporary period. They will not be issuing any new collection notices nor collecting any debt during this time.
Employers who process DEAs for DWP via their payroll are advised to suspend all DEA collections and to not set up new orders that may have recently been received. Employers are not required to speak to an advisor or gain authorisation to action this.
Official guidance will follow soon, however, if you would like to hear the notice given, you can call the Employer Helpline on 0800 916 0614 and select option 1 for Employers.