Your legal obligations
As an employer, if we ask you to make deductions for your employees or contractors, you have legal obligations under Child Support legislation.
Your obligations include:
- you must make the deductions we have requested and send them to us by the due date
- you must advise the person in writing how much child support has been deducted each pay period, for example, on their pay slip
- you must keep appropriate records of the child support you deduct and, if the deduction varies from what was requested advise us why
- you must respect the person’s privacy and not tell anyone, other than the person in question, that you deduct child support from their pay
- it is illegal to discriminate against any current or potential employee or contractor because of their child support responsibilities. Discrimination includes charging a fee for making child support deductions under a legal obligation
- you cannot make a deduction of child support that leaves the person with a net pay, after tax and child support deductions, of less than the Protected Earnings Amount, unless deductions are made under a notice pursuant to Section 72A
- you must make sure you deduct the amount we tell you to - you cannot change this even if the person, their lawyer or anyone else asks you to
- payments to us are due no later than the seventh day of the month following deductions.
If you don’t pay on time, the money will be late getting to the other parent and their children.
If you do not meet your legal obligations, we can impose penalties. For example, if you are late making payments to us, you may incur a late payment penalty. We may not collect these penalties in certain circumstances. For example, if you tell us the delay was beyond your control.
If you do not make deductions when you are required to, or make deductions and do not pay them to us, you may be charged with an offence. A court may impose a fine, imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both. You may also be ordered to pay legal costs.
You are required by law to make child support deductions if we ask you. If your employee or contractor is unhappy with the deductions you are making, ask them to call us to discuss their deductions with us.
If your employee, contractor or any other representative, including a lawyer, gives instructions to change the amount of the employer deductions, please ask them to call us.
Page last updated: 15 August 2019
This information was printed 19 January 2021 from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/business/services/child-support/child-support-information-employers/you-need-know/your-legal-obligations. It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.