(2) what obligation exists on absent parents to notify the Child Support Agency of a change of circumstances including a salary increase.
At present there is no obligation for a non-resident parent to notify the Secretary of State of a change of circumstances unless a Deduction from Earnings Order (DEO) is in place. In these cases the non-resident parent is required to notify the Secretary of State if there has been a change of their employer. We are considering changes that would require the non-resident parent in those circumstances also to inform the Secretary of State of any new employer and salary details.
For the future scheme, we intend largely to base the assessment process for statutory child maintenance arrangements on the latest available gross income data from HM Revenue and Custom (HMRC) with annual reviews to keep maintenance liabilities up-to-date. Either parent will be able to ask for maintenance to be adjusted if the non-resident parent’s income has increased or decreased by 25 per cent. or more compared to the HMRC figure on which the assessment is based. There are no plans to require non-resident parents to report changes in salary other than where there is a DEO in force.
However, subject to parliamentary approval of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill, non-resident parents will in future be required to notify the Commission of a change of address. The Commission will not need to make a specific request to the non-resident parent for this information—the requirement will be ongoing. Failure to co-operate will be an offence, punishable upon summary conviction by a fine of up to £1,000.