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.

It 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 basic rate of JobSeeker Payment doesn’t include the Coronavirus Supplement.

The following amounts apply to pay dates from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023:

Pay cycle PEA calculation
Weekly $456.53
Daily $456.53 ÷ 7 days = $65.21857
Fortnightly $456.53 x 2 weeks = $913.06
4 weekly $456.53 x 4 weeks = $1,826.12
Monthly $65.21857 x 30.4375 days per month = $1,985.09

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.

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, send us the reduced deduction and explain the variation. To do this either:

If you’re using Single Touch Payroll, complete the Child Support Deduction or garnishee fields. You must complete these fields with the amount deducted. If you’re unable to deduct an amount, you must enter the number zero. Otherwise, we’ll call you if the field is left blank.

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

When we contact you

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

Page last updated: 1 January 2023.