On 03 April 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) advised that employers should not make DEA deductions from employee’s pay for the three months April, May and June 2020. This was a temporary benefit debt repayments cessation in response to COVID-19.
On 7th July 2020 the DWP issued an update saying ‘Employers should continue to not make deductions from an employees pay for until told to so again by DWP.’ The guidance is now as follows:
Changes to DEA deductions because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Benefit debt repayments have been temporarily stopped because of coronavirus. You should not make any DEA deductions from your employees’ pay.
We will write to you when you need to restart making deductions.
This is welcome news and an obvious recognition that employee’s financial position may have changed dramatically over the last few months. Indeed, they may not even be in employment any longer.
Employers should continue ceasing the DEA until they are advised to restart it by the DWP.