Furlough pay – is this earnings from which a Direct Earnings Attachment can be taken

Hi, I have a client who is a director of a limited company and also works as an employee of that company.  All staff are currently on furlough, including himself.  He has a very old benefit overpayment and has been notified the DWP are going to recover via a DEA.  My question is, would his furlough pay actually count as ‘earnings’?  I have looked at the overpayment regs which say:

“earnings” means any sums payable to a person—

(a)by way of wages or salary (including any fees, bonus, commission, overtime pay or other emoluments payable in addition to wages or salary payable under a contract of service);
(b)by way of pension which is paid with wages or salary (including an annuity in respect of past service, whether or not rendered to the person paying the annuity, and including periodical payments by way of compensation for the loss, abolition or relinquishment, or diminution in the emoluments, of any office or employment); or
(c)by way of statutory sick pay.

I would welcome any thoughts.  I also appreciate that this is a short term position with furlough ending fairly soon.

Thank you 🙂

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