Protected Earnings Amount when deducting child support

The Protected Earnings Amount (PEA) is the part of an employee or contractor’s pay exempt from child support deductions.

The PEA means you don’t deduct all of their pay for child support payments.

The PEA doesn’t apply to deductions under section 72A notices.

What the formula is

The weekly PEA is equal to 75% of the maximum fortnightly basic rate of JobSeeker Payment, for a person who has a partner and no dependent children.

The following amounts apply to pay dates from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2024:

Pay cyclePEA calculation
Daily$514.50 ÷ 7 days = $73.50000
Fortnightly$514.50 x 2 weeks = $1,029.00
4 weekly$514.50 x 4 weeks = $2,058.00
Monthly$73.50000 x 30.4375 days per month = $2,237.16

For child support purposes, a year is equal to 365.25 days. This allows for leap years. This means there are 30.4375 days in a month.

Days in a month = 365.25 ÷ 12

We round up figures where applicable.


We adjust the PEA annually. If you currently deduct child support, you’ll get a letter by December each year to let you know the adjusted PEA amounts for the new calendar year.

When to contact us

You may need to deduct less than the agreed amount. This is to make sure the employee or contractor’s net pay isn’t less than the PEA. This means the employee or contractor’s pay, after deducting tax and child support, needs to be at least the PEA.

If you can’t deduct the full amount of child support, follow the instructions for your reporting method.

Child Support reporting method

You'll need to send us the reduced deduction and explain the variation. You can do this by one of the following ways:

Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting method

Report the amount you deducted as a deduction type D in your STP reporting solution.

You don’t have to do anything about the outstanding child support you couldn’t deduct due to the PEA.

If you need to report a $0 child support deduction, don’t leave the reporting type D field blank. You must add something in this field. If you don’t, you won’t report for that employee and we’ll need to contact you. There will also be a delay in payments for all of your employees.

You’ll need to check with your software provider to find out how you report a $0 deduction for your employee. Some methods include:

  • reporting $0 at the deduction reporting label
  • entering the same year-to-date amount that you reported in the previous pay period.

If you can’t do it through your STP reporting solution, use another reporting method.

When we contact you

From time to time, we'll contact you. This will be to confirm information with you.

Page last updated: 3 January 2024.
QC 26876