Attachment of earnings guidance

What is an attachment of earnings order?

Someone who works for you has Council Tax arrears, and a Magistrates Court has ordered that deductions can be made from their earnings to pay this debt.

The amount of the deduction depends on how much your employee earns, and is a percentage of their net earnings. They also depend on whether if you are already making deductions from your employee's wags for other debts.

If your employee has an enquiry about the attachment being applied please ask them to contact Bury Council. You do not have any discretion to refuse to pay deductions at the request of your employee. They will have been sent copies of the documents you have received.

If you willingly refuse to enforce an order, we can summons you to court and you could receive a fine.

What you need to do:

  • return the slip on the order we have sent you to confirm that you are in a position to make payments, using the prepaid envelope provided
  • work out what the deductions will be, using the figures below
  • start making the deductions as soon as possible after receiving the order
  • make the payments to us by the 18th day of the month following when you paid your employee - please see the order for payment methods
  • tell the employee that the deductions are being made - we will have already written to them to let them know this will be happening

Contact us to let us know if:

  • the person is not employed by you, or stops being employed by you
  • you are unable to make payments because you are already making deductions for two other attachment of earnings orders

Amounts of deductions

Attachment of earnings orders deductions
Weekly net earningsMonthly net earningsDaily net earningsDeductions
Up to £75Up to £300Up to £11No deductions
£75.01 to £135£300.01 to £550£11.01 to £203%
£135.01 to £185£550.01 to £740£20.01 to £275%
£185.01 to £225£740.01 to £900£27.01 to £337%
£225.01 to £355£900.01 to £1,420£33.01 to £5212%
£355.01 to £505£1,420.01 to £2,020£52.01 to £7217%
Above £505Above £2,020Above £7217% for the first £505/£2,020/£72 and 50% for the remainder

Net earnings include

  • bonuses
  • commission
  • overtime
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • advances of holiday pay
  • compensation payments

Net earnings do not include

  • Income Tax
  • National Insurance
  • superannuation contributions
  • any attachment of earnings order with a higher priority
  • loan repayments
  • loans for items such as season tickets or moving house
  • redundancy payments
  • youth training allowances
  • Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay
  • expenses incurred in the course of employment

Irregular payments

If your employee is paid irregularly please work out how many days wages were paid during the last month, and use the net daily net earnings table to work out the deduction for that month.

Administration costs

You can make a £1 deduction, from your employee's wages, per payment to cover your administration costs.

Multiple orders

There are different types of attachment of earnings orders. In general, orders for fines take precedence over those for civil debts. Council Tax attachment of earnings orders are known as 'priority orders'.

Other 'priority orders' include:

  • Deduction from Earnings Order from Child Maintenance Group
  • Attachment of Earnings Order for Maintenance or Fines
  • Scottish Earnings Arrestment

'Non priority orders' include:

  • Direct Earnings Attachment
  • Student loan repayments
  • Scottish Current Maintenance Arrestment
  • Conjoined Arrestment Order

Deduct any 'priority orders' first, in the order the employee got them. Then deduct the 'non-priority' orders in the order the employee got them.

Only two attachment of earnings order for Council Tax can be applied at the same time. If you already have two Council Tax attachment or earnings orders in force and you cannot apply the one we have sent you please return it to us.


The attachment of earnings order quotes various regulations under which the order is made. A full set of these regulations can be found on the web site. 

Contact for Council Tax