1. Overview

The Child Maintenance Service and the Child Support Agency (CSA) can ask you to:

  • give information about your employee so they can work out the right amount of child maintenance
  • set up a deduction from earnings order (DEO)
  • answer enquiries from other organisations who collect payments of child maintenance on their behalf

You may also be given an attachment of earnings order (AEO) by a court.

Your legal obligations when deducting child maintenance

By law, you must:

  • give information to the Child Maintenance Service or CSA, if you’re asked to
  • send payments as soon as possible, but no later than the 19th day of the month following the month you made the deduction
  • tell the Child Maintenance Service or CSA immediately if there are any problems with taking payments from a paying parent’s earnings
  • make regular payments - if you don’t send payments and don’t explain why, you could be taken to court

The paying parent is the parent who doesn’t have main day-to-day care of the child.

You must also tell the Child Maintenance Service or CSA about a change of circumstances within 10 days, eg if:

  • an employee leaves your business
  • you’re asked to set up a deduction from earnings order (DEO) for someone who doesn’t work for you

Put this information in writing for the CSA. For the Child Maintenance Service, you can phone or put in writing.

Changes to child maintenance

The Child Maintenance Service was set up in 2012. It runs alongside the CSA so you may deal with either organisation depending on when your employee’s case was opened.

In most cases, arrangements started:

  • before 25 November 2013 are handled by the CSA

  • after 25 November 2013 are managed by the Child Maintenance Service

You can manage any of your Child Maintenance Service cases with the online service.

The CSA doesn’t have an online service.

Contact either organisation if you have any questions.

Child Support Agency employer helpline
Telephone: 0345 713 6010
Textphone: 0345 713 8924
Find out about call charges

Child Maintenance Service
Telephone: 0845 266 9658
Textphone: 0845 266 8795
Find out about call charges