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The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Deduction from earnings: other cases

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110.—(1) In section 69 of the Administration Act (overpayments - general), after subsection (9) insert—

(9A) Regulations may provide for amounts recoverable under the provisions mentioned in subsection (8) to be recovered by deductions from earnings.

(9B) In subsection (9A) “earnings” has such meaning as may be prescribed.

(9C) Regulations under subsection (9A) may include provision—

(a)requiring the person from whom an amount is recoverable (“the beneficiary”) to disclose details of their employer, and any change of employer, to the Department;

(b)requiring the employer, on being served with a notice by the Department, to make deductions from the earnings of the beneficiary and to pay corresponding amounts to the Department;

(c)as to the matters to be contained in such a notice and the period for which a notice is to have effect;

(d)as to how payment is to be made to the Department;

(e)as to a level of earnings below which earnings must not be reduced;

(f)allowing the employer, where the employer makes deductions, to deduct a prescribed sum from the beneficiary’s earnings in respect of the employer’s administrative costs;

(g)requiring the employer to keep records of deductions;

(h)requiring the employer to notify the Department if the beneficiary is not, or ceases to be, employed by the employer;

(i)creating a criminal offence for non-compliance with the regulations, punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale;

(j)with respect to the priority as between a requirement to deduct from earnings under this section and—

(i)any other such requirement;

(ii)an order under any other statutory provision which requires deduction from the beneficiary’s earnings.

(2) In section 69ZA of that Act (overpayments out of the social fund), before subsection (3) insert—

(2A) Subsection (9A) of section 69 as it so applies shall have effect as if the reference to amounts recoverable under the provisions mentioned in subsection (8) of that section were to amounts recoverable under subsections (1) and (4) of that section by virtue of subsection (1) above.

(3) In section 73 of that Act (overpayments of housing benefit), at the end insert—

(8) Regulations may provide for amounts recoverable under this section to be recovered by deductions from earnings.

(9) In subsection (8) “earnings” has such meaning as may be prescribed.

(10) Regulations under subsection (8) may include provision—

(a)requiring the person from whom an amount is recoverable (“the beneficiary”) to disclose details of their employer, and any change of employer, to the Department, the Department of Finance and Personnel or the Housing Executive;

(b)requiring the employer, on being served with a notice by the Department, the Department of Finance and Personnel or the Housing Executive, to make deductions from the earnings of the beneficiary and to pay corresponding amounts to the Department, the Department of Finance and Personnel or the Housing Executive;

(c)as to the matters to be contained in such a notice and the period for which a notice is to have effect;

(d)as to how payment is to be made to the Department, the Department of Finance and Personnel or the Housing Executive;

(e)as to a level of earnings below which earnings must not be reduced;

(f)allowing the employer, where the employer makes deductions, to deduct a prescribed sum from the beneficiary’s earnings in respect of the employer’s administrative costs;

(g)requiring the employer to keep records of deductions;

(h)requiring the employer to notify the Department, the Department of Finance and Personnel or the Housing Executive if the beneficiary is not, or ceases to be, employed by the employer;

(i)creating a criminal offence for non-compliance with the regulations, punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale;

(j)with respect to the priority as between a requirement to deduct from earnings under this section and—

(i)any other such requirement;

(ii)an order under any other statutory provision which requires deduction from the beneficiary’s earnings.

(4) In section 74 of that Act (recovery of social fund awards), after subsection (3A) insert—

(3B) Regulations may provide for amounts recoverable under subsection (1) from a person specified in subsection (3) to be recovered by deductions from earnings.

(3C) In subsection (3B) “earnings” has such meaning as may be prescribed.

(3D) Regulations under subsection (3B) may include provision referred to in section 69(9C).

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