Direct Earnings Attachment prosecution

Friday, 6 April 2018

The company that owns and operates The Ivanhoe pub and hotel in Scarborough has been prosecuted for failing to operate a Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA) for Scarborough Borough Council and has been fined £2,500.

A DEA is where an employer is requested to make deductions from their employee’s pay to recover overpayments of benefits. This includes overpaid housing benefit.
Directors of The Ivanhoe (Scarborough) Ltd, Jeannette and Julian Law, failed to attend Scarborough Magistrates Court in February and in their absence, the company was found guilty of five offences under The Social Security Regulations 2013. In addition to the £2,500 fine, the company was ordered to pay legal costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £120. 

Scarborough Borough Council was left with no option but to prosecute after the company failed in its legal obligation to make deductions from an employee’s earnings following an unpaid invoice for overpaid housing benefit. This was despite numerous reminders and contact between the council and a director of The Ivanhoe (Scarborough) Ltd during a twelve month period.

A spokesperson for Scarborough Borough Council said:

"We have a duty to protect public funds and a DEA is an important tool to enable us to recover overpaid housing benefit from customers in employment who choose not to repay the balance owed. Employers must take these matters seriously and we will not hesitate to instigate court action where we feel there is no other course of action."