Can I ask my ex’s employer why they are not paying?

February 18, 2013

Hi, i have been recieiving child maintenance through a deduction of earnings order for a few years now, as time has gone on the employer has become later and later at sending payments and i find myself calling the csa weekly to get them to chase the payments, then i usually recieve a lump payment every 2-3 months! I have now expressed to the csa that this isnt really acceptable for my ex partners employer to do this and asked for it to be investigated.

I am now 3 months again without recieiving child maintenance, i have been told that a warning letter was sent 6 weeks ago and they havent responded so now they are going to get an outside company to investigate the employer.

I guess i want to know what happens now? the lady i spoke to from the csa just told me to wait until i hear from them but warned me there was a 4-6 week backlog for investigating companies, i was told a month ago they had referred for investigation, but doesnt seem to be getting anywhere. Will i still recieve all the money im owed?

Can i contact my ex partners employer to ask why they are not paying? Can the CSA keep chasing the employer once it has been referred? im feeling quite frustrated and dont know what to do. Any advice would be great, thank you.

Comments

  • Lisa says:

    Ever heard of data protection, maybe your ex has done the right thing and escaped the clutches of the csa, good for him, all your bothered about is money, no mention of your child having a relationship with there father, get a grip and go and earn your own money

  • chall says:

    Louise,

    An employer has until the 19th of the month following in which the deduction is made from the NRP’s salary, to send it to the CSA.
    If its late, the CSA should chase it up.

    It may be worth requesting a complete account breakdown for your case, showing payment due and received dates. You may then get a better idea of whether the employer has been making late payments or payments have been delayed at the CSA.

    chall

  • Jason says:

    Give that man a Medal.

  • j says:

    I’m sure there is no harm in asking your ex’s employer for info on your ex or their internal procedures relating to your ex. I’m not so sure they are obliged to give you such info, although they may let your ex know you have been in touch.

    Perhaps the advice by chall is worth considering, after all it is the duty of the csa to take action if a DEO is being flouted.

    Do ask for a copy of the account breakdown by all means though it may be worth putting this in writing and sending it recorded delivery. They can always deny you telephoned them. Have you made a complaint at all?

    Here is some general advice on how to complain–

    ‘This isnt the csa its an open forum so don’t give names/details etc especially of children. (your own name can be used to identify the kids, and your case)

    Don’t deal with the csa by phone, everything in writing, sent recorded, keep the receipts.

    Copy your MP into everything and try and get them involved as your advocate.

    Make a formal complaint about any decision you are unhappy with from the outset as time limits are involved. Always go for an appeal tribunal asap following the internal process.

    Get a copy of your Data Protection prints from the outset so you know what you are dealing with, again follow the correct procedure in wording your request to get ALL information, send it to the right department, send the correct fee.

    Don’t be afraid to complain about any csa staff, or their superiors if you feel you have just cause.

    Remember the process, internal complaint, ‘independent’ case examiner (the csa protection department), appeals tribunal, parliamentary and health service ombudsman through your mp for maladministration.’

    There are a couple of sites you can also look at –

    © ChildSupportLaws – general info.

    http://www.fmotl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8006 – not sure it will help but worth a look.

    http://www.deadbeatdadsassociation.co.uk – they don’t help you if you are getting advice elswhere.

    http://www.nacsa.co.uk/page/contact_us.html – I’ve heard of them and they get a good review but cost money. (£30pm I think)

    Read the various threads on here you may pick up some useful info.

    Most of all, please do come back on here IF you find out what is going on with your payments. I’m sure many of us would be interested to know whether the employer is at fault (as happened to me it seems) or if the csa are failing to pass collected money on to you.

    Good luck.

  • Alice says:

    The DEO is an instruction from the CSA to the employer to deduct a specified amount from the NRP’s wages and pay this to the agency – it is a legal document and any employer who fails to take deductions or takes deductions and does not pay them to the agency is committing a criminal offence and can face legal action.

    If the employer is late paying the deduction of earnings order (as chall has advised the employer has until the 19th of the following month to send the money to the agency) the CSA will contact them to ask the reason why – if deductions have not been taken the employer will be reminded of their legal obligation, if deductions have been taken and not paid to the agency immediate payment will be requested – or a payment date will be agreed. In both scenarios the employer will be issued with a warning letter – if the employer does not then start taking deductions or still does not pay over the deductions already taken the case will be referred to the relevant Criminal Compliance Team within CSA. When a case officer refers a case to CCT the standard response time is approx 6 weeks – sometime a response will be received earlier – if legal action is required this can take longer. An employer who is taking deductions from an employees wages and not paying them to the agency can be prosecuted under the Fraud Act. It is no different from an employer taking Income Tax and National Insurance from an employee’s salary and not paying it to HMRC

    Any missed payments will still be collected.

    A PWC cannot contact the NRP’s employer direct, this would breach data protection.

  • Lisa says:

    @ Alice Please read this

    “31Deduction from earnings orders

    (1)This section applies where any person (“the liable person”) is liable to make payments of child support maintenance.

    The employer therefore has every right to request to see proof in LAW that his employee is the LIABLE PERSON, and the Commission provides space on their deductions sheet for the employer to state the reasons why the deduction can not be made. We recently assisted an employer in court and it was confirmed that the Employer had every right to with hold information and funds as there had been no proof provided to show that the employee was a liable person.

    The employer has to comply with the Employment Rights Act 1996 section 13:

    13 Right not to suffer unauthorised deductions. (1)An employer shall not make a deduction from wages of a worker employed by him unless—

    (a)the deduction is required or authorised to be made by virtue of a statutory provision or a relevant provision of the worker’s contract, or

    (b)the worker has previously signified in writing his agreement or consent to the making of the deduction.

    (2)In this section “relevant provision”, in relation to a worker’s contract, means a provision of the contract comprised—

    (a)in one or more written terms of the contract of which the employer has given the worker a copy on an occasion prior to the employer making the deduction in question, or

    (b)in one or more terms of the contract (whether express or implied and, if express, whether oral or in writing) the existence and effect, or combined effect, of which in relation to the worker the employer has notified to the worker in writing on such an occasion.Statutory provisions have been confirmed to be Tax, National Insurance and Pension Contributions, a Statutory Provision is NOT a Deduction from Earnings Order enforced by the Commission as it does not comply with the Attachment of Earnings Act 1996. It has to be proven in Law that the non resident parent is the liable person, the only way this can be done is in court, just the same as a Council Tax Liability Order. If it is proven that the non resident parent is liable then the commission has to apply to the courts to get an Attachment of Earnings order, which is the correct procedure according to their legislation.

  • Louise says:

    Thanks to Chall, j and Alice for your helpful comments. I have now asked for a statement from the CSA and they have told me today that they didnt actually make the referral 6 weeks ago they told me they had, so this is what all the delay has been! They have now said they will action this ASAP but i agree that i need to start communicating in writing to them as all my phone calls seem to have not been recorded.

    Seeing as this is a CSA forum, and my question was about the CSA and their procedures i didnt find it necessary to go into the details of my daughters relationship with her father or my own financial status. I do however work full time as a qualified nurse, and i have ensured that my daughter maintains a good relationship with her father by taking her to see him on a weekly basis and he has her on alternate weekends – providing i drive her to and from his house. So no Lisa, its not all about money!

  • Alice says:

    Hope you get regular payments soon – sometimes a warning letter is enough to get an employer to start making the payments on time. If a warning letter has been sent and they do not make payments on time the case should be referred to CCT. Good luck

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