Wage Arrestment: How Much Can They Take?

A Wage Arrestment, also known as an Earnings Arrestment, is a type of Diligence in Scotland, which means a type of procedure that Sheriff Officers can use to recover any debts that you owe.

Wage Arrestment Tables

When a Sheriff Officer arrests your wages, they serve an Earnings Arrestment Schedule on your employer.  This instructs your employer to make deductions from your wages every day/week/month, depending on the frequency with which you are paid. 

Your employer cannot take any more from your earnings than what is shown in the tables below and must use the Wage Arrestment Tables to calculate how much you should be paying.

What Table applies, depends on the frequency with which you receive your wages.

In certain circumstances an Earnings Arrestment can be prevented and in other situations recalled.

Earnings Arrestment Schedule

Table A – Deductions from Weekly Earnings

Net EarningsDeductions(*)
Not exceeding £122.28Nil
Exceeding £122.28 but not exceeding £442.00£4 or 19% of earnings exceeding £122.28, whichever is the greater
Exceeding £442.00, but not exceeding £664.50£60.75 plus 23% of earnings exceeding £442.00
Exceeding £664.50£111.92 plus 50% of earnings exceeding £664.50
  (*) When applying a percentage the calculation should be done to two decimal places of a penny and the result rounded to the nearest whole penny, with an exact half penny being rounded down.

Table B – Deductions from Monthly Earnings

Net EarningsDeductions(*)
Not exceeding £529.90 Nil
Exceeding £529.90 but not exceeding £1,915.32£15.00 or 19% of earnings exceeding £529.90, whichever is the greater
Exceeding £1,915.32 but not exceeding £2,879.52£263.23 plus 23% of earnings exceeding £1,915.32
Exceeding £2,879.52£485.00 plus 50% of earnings exceeding £2,879.52
    (*) When applying a percentage the calculation should be done to two decimal places of a penny and the result rounded to the nearest whole penny, with an exact half penny being rounded down.

Table C – Deductions from Daily Earnings

Net EarningsDeductions(*)
Not exceeding £17.42Nil
Exceeding £17.42 but not exceeding £62.97£0.50 or 19% of earnings exceeding £17.42, whichever is the greater
Exceeding £62.97 but not exceeding £94.67£8.65 plus 23% of earnings exceeding £62.97
Exceeding £94.67£15.95 plus 50% of earnings exceeding £94.67
  (*) When applying a percentage the calculation should be done to two decimal places of a penny and the result rounded to the nearest whole penny, with an exact half penny being rounded down.

Comments

  1. Rachel

    Hi

    If your debt is for Council Tax and you already have a DEA in place, surely they cannot take 19% plus the original amount?

    My employer has just told me that is how he understood it?

    1. Scottish Adviser Post author

      Hi Rachel

      Unfortunately, your employer is correct. One does not exclude the other.

      However, a Direct Earning Attachment Order is a Non-priority Order, unlike an Earnings Arrestment which is a Priority Order.

      This mean, regardless of when the Earning Arrestment is applied, the Direct Earning Attachment must give way to the Earnings Arrestment.

      If the Earning Arrestment leaves you with less than 60% of your net earnings the Direct Earning Attachment should not be applied. However, if the Earning Arrestment leaves you with more than 60% of you net earnings the DEA can still be applied. If applying the full DEA would take you below the protected 60% that the law says you must be left with, the DEA can be applied partially, providing it doesn’t take you below the 60% safety net.

      The Direct Earning Attachment (DEA) will be for an overpayment of benefits. Do you know what type of benefit it was? If it was Housing Benefit, then the DEA will have been applied for by your local authority. If it was for another benefit, it will have been the Department of Work and Pensions that applied it.

      If your employer requires further advice he should contact whoever applied for it and bring to their attention that you now also have an Earnings Arrestment and they should give him guidance, as above (for DWP Debt Management see here)

      There is also more scope to modify a DEA, so sometimes those applying it can adjust the amount or lift it altogether and come to an arrangement with you instead, even if it can still be applied in addition to the Earnings Arrestment, if it is causing you hardship. If this is the case, you should contact them yourself, this isn’t your employers responsibility.

      Earning Arrestments are less flexible and harder to get the Council to lift.

      If neither will show you any flexibility, contact your local Citizen Advice Bureau or Local Authority Money Advice Service and ask if they can help.

      A Debit Payment Programme under the Debt Arrangement Scheme can lift an Earnings Arrestment.

      You need to also make sure you pay your current Council Tax, otherwise you will just Keep being in arrears and keep getting Earning Arrestments, with all the fees involved.

      The Debt Arrangement Scheme may be able to help you manage all this

  2. Alison

    Hi

    If an arrestment order was made in 2018, should the deduction rates at the time be used this year, or the rates that came out in April?

    1. Scottish Adviser Post author

      Hi

      Alison it should be the 2019 Schedule.

      If an earning arrestment was already in place it should have changed for the next deduction after the new Schedule was introduced, which as far as I can recall was the 6th April 2019.

      So any deduction after that date should have been done using the new Schedule.

  3. Vishnu

    Hi

    If an employer received an earnings arrestment order and a trustee’s order from two different courts can they action both?

    1. Scottish Adviser Post author

      Hi Vishnu

      I am assuming you have either been made Bankrupt or granted a Protected Trust Deed, then run up further debt and an Earnings Arrestment has been executed for that other debt.

      Your employer must follow both instructions as he is legally required to do so.

      You need to go back to your Trustee and explain what has happened and ask he review how much you are paying to your Bankruptcy or Protected Trust Deed.

      If he refuses to do so, you need to seek independent advice from a money adviser from a Citizen Advice Bureau or Local Authority Money Advice Service and ask if the can help. They can possibly ask the Trustee carries out a review of what you are paying. If the Trustee still refuses to do so they can apply to the Accountant in Bankruptcy to give the Trustee a Direction to do so.

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