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The Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991

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Regulations about deduction from earnings ordersN.I.

32.—(1) The Department may by regulations make provision with respect to deduction from earnings orders.

(2) The regulations may, in particular, make provision—

(a)as to the circumstances in which one person is to be treated as employed by another;

(b)requiring any deduction from earnings under an order to be made in the prescribed manner;

[F1(bb)for the amount or amounts which are to be deducted from the liable person’s earnings not to exceed a prescribed proportion of his earnings (as determined by the employer);]

(c)requiring an order to specify the amount or amounts to which the order relates and the amount or amounts which are to be deducted from the liable person's earnings in order to meet his liabilities under the [F2maintenance assessment] [F3maintenance calculation] in question;

(d)requiring the intervals between deductions to be made under an order to be specified in the order;

(e)as to the payment of sums deducted under an order to the Department;

(f)allowing the person who deducts and pays any amount under an order to deduct from the liable person's earnings a prescribed sum towards his administrative costs;

(g)with respect to the notification to be given to the liable person of amounts deducted, and amounts paid, under the order;

(h)requiring any person on whom a copy of an order is served to notify the Department in the prescribed manner and within a prescribed period if he does not have the liable person in his employment or if the liable person ceases to be in his employment;

(i)as to the operation of an order where the liable person is in the employment of the Crown;

(j)for the variation of orders;

(k)similar to that made by Article 31(7), in relation to any variation of an order;

(l)for an order to lapse when the employer concerned ceases to have the liable person in his employment;

(m)as to the revival of an order in such circumstances as may be prescribed;

(n)allowing or requiring an order to be discharged;

(o)as to the giving of notice by the Department to the employer concerned that an order has lapsed or has ceased to have effect.

(3) The regulations may include provision that while a deduction from earnings order is in force—

(a)the liable person shall notify the Department, in the prescribed manner and within a prescribed period, of each occasion on which he leaves any employment or becomes employed, or re-employed, and shall include in such a notification a statement of his earnings and expected earnings from the employment concerned and of such other matters as may be prescribed;

(b)any person who becomes the liable person's employer and knows that the order is in force shall notify the Department, in the prescribed manner and within a prescribed period, that he is the liable person's employer, and shall include in such a notification a statement of the liable person's earnings and expected earnings from the employment concerned and of such other matters as may be prescribed.

(4) The regulations may include provision with respect to the priority as between a deduction from earnings order and—

(a)any other deduction from earnings order;

(b)any order under any other statutory provision which provides for deductions from the liable person's earnings.

(5) The regulations may include a provision that a liable person may appeal to a court of summary jurisdiction if he is aggrieved by the making of a deduction from earnings order against him, or by the terms of any such order, or there is a dispute as to whether payments constitute earnings or as to any other prescribed matter relating to the order.

(6) On an appeal under paragraph (5) the court shall not question the [F4maintenance assessment] [F5maintenance calculation] by reference to which the deduction from earnings order was made.

(7) Regulations made by virtue of paragraph (5) may include provision as to the powers of a court of summary jurisdiction in relation to an appeal (which may include provision as to the quashing of a deduction from earnings order or the variation of the terms of such an order).

(8) If any person fails to comply with the requirements of a deduction from earnings order or with any regulation under this Article which is designated for the purposes of this paragraph, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(9) In paragraph (8) “designated” means designated by the regulations.

(10) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph (8) to prove that he took all reasonable steps to comply with the requirements in question.

(11) Any person guilty of an offence under paragraph (8) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.

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