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Disclosure of earnings
#1
Exclamation 
I've been paying CSA/CMS for over 8 years now and have always done my best to keep up the payments for my son.

Recently however, since the Child Maintenance has taken over from the Child Support Agency, I've found out that when the receiving parents are written to and informed of how much the paying parent is supposed to pay each month, and within that letter they state how much the paying parent earns a week!! This has annoyed me beyond words!

Since the introduction of the GDPR, which is supposed to update the existing data protection act so you can keep better control over your personal data, I would have thought that this was in breach of the new act. I spoke to the CMS at some length about this stating that I did not want my details to be passed in to the mother as it was personal data and I did not wish to disclose it. They said they where within there rights to do so.

Hmmm...so I wrote to my MP, and he wrote to them. They responded to him in the same way and he just passed on the letter response to me - cheers!

The CMS tried to justify there actions by stating that they want to make sure any mistakes made are caught by letting the receiving parent have all the figures and calculations they used to arrive at the monthly figure. I think I could just about understand that IF they actually provided ALL of the information.

My arguments -

1. The letter that goes out to the receiving parents states the weekly income of the paying parent and the breakdown of any arrears owing plus the final figure. How on earth can anyone work out if the final figure is correct from that information alone. No percentages are shown, no figures to show other deductions (for number of overnight stays for example), or anything else that could give the parent the correct information to 'check' there workings out.

2. How can the receiving parent possibly know that the figure they are given of the paying parents weekly income is correct or not. They can't check it, meaning all the figures relating to the overall calcs could be irrelevant.

3. Is it not the CMS's job to do these calculations and provide a definite figure?? If not, what are they there for?!

I could go on, but the fact that they also avert my attention to The Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012 also makes me laugh as it states:

25.—(1) Notification of a decision made under section 11 or 12(2) of the 1991 Act(1) must set out—

(a)the effective date of the maintenance calculation;

(b)where relevant, the non-resident parent’s gross weekly income, including—

(i)whether that is based on historic income or current income, and

(ii)if based on current income, whether that income has been estimated in accordance with regulation 42;

Now, note section (b) where it says 'where relevant....'. In my opinion it is not relevant to state my weekly income or any other paying parents income as per the points I made previously. But to top it all; the fact that they think that they can just go off to the HMRC, look up my earnings and then just tell people what I earn is an absolute joke and contradicts everything that the data protection act stands for. Once the receiving parent has that information, what is to stop them telling anyone they like. The data is OUT in the public domain and out of our control.

Am I alone in this feeling of outrage???
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#2
(07-10-2018, 03:41 PM)linko Wrote: I've been paying CSA/CMS for over 8 years now and have always done my best to keep up the payments for my son.

Recently however, since the Child Maintenance has taken over from the Child Support Agency, I've found out that when the receiving parents are written to and informed of how much the paying parent is supposed to pay each month, and within that letter they state how much the paying parent earns a week!! This has annoyed me beyond words!

Since the introduction of the GDPR, which is supposed to update the existing data protection act so you can keep better control over your personal data, I would have thought that this was in breach of the new act. I spoke to the CMS at some length about this stating that I did not want my details to be passed in to the mother as it was personal data and I did not wish to disclose it. They said they where within there rights to do so.

Hmmm...so I wrote to my MP, and he wrote to them. They responded to him in the same way and he just passed on the letter response to me - cheers!

The CMS tried to justify there actions by stating that they want to make sure any mistakes made are caught by letting the receiving parent have all the figures and calculations they used to arrive at the monthly figure. I think I could just about understand that IF they actually provided ALL of the information.

My arguments -

1. The letter that goes out to the receiving parents states the weekly income of the paying parent and the breakdown of any arrears owing plus the final figure. How on earth can anyone work out if the final figure is correct from that information alone. No percentages are shown, no figures to show other deductions (for number of overnight stays for example), or anything else that could give the parent the correct information to 'check' there workings out.

2. How can the receiving parent possibly know that the figure they are given of the paying parents weekly income is correct or not. They can't check it, meaning all the figures relating to the overall calcs could be irrelevant.

3. Is it not the CMS's job to do these calculations and provide a definite figure?? If not, what are they there for?!

I could go on, but the fact that they also avert my attention to The Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012 also makes me laugh as it states:

25.—(1) Notification of a decision made under section 11 or 12(2) of the 1991 Act(1) must set out—

(a)the effective date of the maintenance calculation;

(b)where relevant, the non-resident parent’s gross weekly income, including—

(i)whether that is based on historic income or current income, and

(ii)if based on current income, whether that income has been estimated in accordance with regulation 42;

Now, note section (b) where it says 'where relevant....'. In my opinion it is not relevant to state my weekly income or any other paying parents income as per the points I made previously. But to top it all; the fact that they think that they can just go off to the HMRC, look up my earnings and then just tell people what I earn is an absolute joke and contradicts everything that the data protection act stands for. Once the receiving parent has that information, what is to stop them telling anyone they like. The data is OUT in the public domain and out of our control.

Am I alone in this feeling of outrage???

In my own case it was usefull to know what she had coming in, as she was claiming not to be able to afford the contact centre fees. The CMS letter proved she could.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#3
(07-10-2018, 03:41 PM)linko Wrote: I've been paying CSA/CMS for over 8 years now and have always done my best to keep up the payments for my son.

Recently however, since the Child Maintenance has taken over from the Child Support Agency, I've found out that when the receiving parents are written to and informed of how much the paying parent is supposed to pay each month, and within that letter they state how much the paying parent earns a week!! This has annoyed me beyond words!

Since the introduction of the GDPR, which is supposed to update the existing data protection act so you can keep better control over your personal data, I would have thought that this was in breach of the new act. I spoke to the CMS at some length about this stating that I did not want my details to be passed in to the mother as it was personal data and I did not wish to disclose it. They said they where within there rights to do so.

Hmmm...so I wrote to my MP, and he wrote to them. They responded to him in the same way and he just passed on the letter response to me - cheers!

The CMS tried to justify there actions by stating that they want to make sure any mistakes made are caught by letting the receiving parent have all the figures and calculations they used to arrive at the monthly figure. I think I could just about understand that IF they actually provided ALL of the information.

My arguments -

1. The letter that goes out to the receiving parents states the weekly income of the paying parent and the breakdown of any arrears owing plus the final figure. How on earth can anyone work out if the final figure is correct from that information alone. No percentages are shown, no figures to show other deductions (for number of overnight stays for example), or anything else that could give the parent the correct information to 'check' there workings out.

2. How can the receiving parent possibly know that the figure they are given of the paying parents weekly income is correct or not. They can't check it, meaning all the figures relating to the overall calcs could be irrelevant.

3. Is it not the CMS's job to do these calculations and provide a definite figure?? If not, what are they there for?!

I could go on, but the fact that they also avert my attention to The Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012 also makes me laugh as it states:

25.—(1) Notification of a decision made under section 11 or 12(2) of the 1991 Act(1) must set out—

(a)the effective date of the maintenance calculation;

(b)where relevant, the non-resident parent’s gross weekly income, including—

(i)whether that is based on historic income or current income, and

(ii)if based on current income, whether that income has been estimated in accordance with regulation 42;

Now, note section (b) where it says 'where relevant....'. In my opinion it is not relevant to state my weekly income or any other paying parents income as per the points I made previously. But to top it all; the fact that they think that they can just go off to the HMRC, look up my earnings and then just tell people what I earn is an absolute joke and contradicts everything that the data protection act stands for. Once the receiving parent has that information, what is to stop them telling anyone they like. The data is OUT in the public domain and out of our control.

Am I alone in this feeling of outrage???

Hi,

I feel your pain with their incompetence and the fact they think they are above the law.  I found this interesting article on a letter relating to GDPR which may be worth tweaking and sending.  I am waiting until I have ironed out my problems with them before pushing send on my one!

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nightmare...rbaliotis/

Good luck! Let me know how you get on!

Jak
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#4
Thanks Jak, I'll take a look.
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#5
I agree with Robert Kay's response. Unfortunately they would just bin the letter and say thanks.

I've just gone to the ICO and emailed them to see what can be done- if anything!

If anyone is interested in doing the same then go here - https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/
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#6
I rang up the CMS voicing my concerns about disclosure on my earnings. I was told that even if they kept it confidential that my ex could easily work out what I earn regardless from what she receives from me anyway, which is true. But it's still frustrating to have it so obviously stated in a letter to begin with.
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#7
Hi kettleman, I don't think they could as there are so many factors to take into consideration when calculating the final figure. In my situation I get a discount for overnight stays, a discount because I have two other children (who live with me) and also I don't believe that the letter states percentages (please correct me if I'm wrong).

But like you said, even if they could work it out, given they had all the correct information, to give them that figure in writing directly is not protecting my data and is a breach of the GDPR.
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