Guide

Make child maintenance deductions from an employee's pay

What CMS counts as earnings

When CMS calculates earnings for Deduction from Earnings Orders (DEOs), it counts the following as earnings:

  • wages, fees, bonus, commission, overtime pay or any payments on top of wages
  • private or occupational pensions and compensation payments
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • contractual sick pay
  • contractual maternity pay (not Statutory Maternity Pay)
  • contractual paternity pay (not Statutory Paternity Pay)
  • contractual adoption pay (not Statutory Adoption Pay)
  • contractual redundancy pay (not Statutory Redundancy Pay)

A deduction from earnings can only be made from these types of earnings.

Statutory pay is money that employees are entitled to by law. Contractual pay is pay that employers agree with their employees over and above statutory pay.

What doesn't count as earnings for DEOs

If the only earnings your employee receives fall into the following categories, they cannot pay child maintenance by DEO:

  • amounts paid by a public department of any country outside the UK
  • any social security pension, allowance or benefit
  • tax credits
  • any pension or allowance paid for disability
  • guaranteed minimum pension within the Social Security Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1975
  • statutory maternity pay
  • statutory paternity pay
  • statutory adoption pay
  • statutory redundancy pay

For example, if your employee is only receiving statutory maternity, paternity or adoption pay, they cannot pay child maintenance by a DEO.

However, once they return to work - or if they are receiving any contractual maternity, paternity or adoption pay - they may choose to, or be required to, pay by DEO.

How to contact CMS - 1993 and 2003 schemes

For help or more information:

  • call CMS employer helpline on 0800 171 2039
  • if you have speech or hearing difficulties, a textphone service is available on 0800 587 1381
  • email CMS at nicallbacks.lob2@cms.gsi.gov.uk - this is not a secure email address so do not enter personal information

The CMS employer helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 17:00.

nidirect guidance on contacting 08 and 03 telephone numbers.