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Being overpaid at work - what should we do ?
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# 1
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bumpydog
Old 06-04-2007, 12:15 PM
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Default Being overpaid at work - what should we do ?

Hi Everyone.
Hope this is the correct forum for this question, apologies if not.

My wife returned from maternity leave at the beginning of the year, to work part-time three days a week.
We've just noticed that in the last few payslips since she's been back that they seem to have miscalculated the number of hours shes working. The effect of this is that her basic salary ( before deductions ) is actually slightly more than it was when she worked 5 days a week full time.

The company she works for is a large multinational so it may be that this error will go unnoticed for several months or even years. We're tempted to come clean and let the company know thier mistake. On the other hand we're also thinking of putting the difference into a high interest account and not touching it, ready for when ( or if ) they notice thier mistake.

Does anyone know our legal position in this ? i.e Are we commiting an offence by not letting the company know they are paying her too much. Secondly, if the company did find out say a year down the line, could they ask for thier money back ? ( I imagine the answer to this is yes)

thanks in advance,
bumpy.
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# 2
jonesMUFCforever
Old 06-04-2007, 12:58 PM
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If you let them know now the amount reclaimed will be relatively small.
If you let it linger you will get a shock. This will be found out eventually and you will be liable to repay it all.
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# 3
Mother_Hub
Old 06-04-2007, 2:44 PM
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I agree with ejones. My son has been overpaid by his employer on more than one occasion I have always told him to inform them and pay the money back.
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# 4
mountainofdebt
Old 06-04-2007, 3:15 PM
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Whilst I am not advocating you keep the money I think you have to be careful of the tax/ni implications so I would want a new pay slip showing the correct deductions.

The other thing to consider is pension contributions especially of your wife is contributing a percentage of her salary.

Also consider any repayments to the student loan people.
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# 5
turbobob
Old 06-04-2007, 3:50 PM
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I've had this happen a few times, and in each case my employer deducted it from the following months pay slip. In my case they actually told me it had happened, and that it would be deducted.

I would say as your wife is aware of it, it is her responsibility to inform the employers. They WILL take it back eventually, and by not letting on, she would not exactly be making herself look the most honest of employees.
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# 6
Bettyboop
Old 06-04-2007, 4:34 PM
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This happened to me and I didn't even know! I was told out of the blue that I was being overpaid by £150.00 for month. There was a mix up in my hours etc which led to this mistake. When my salary was eventually adjusted I was earning so little! I should have done the math but didn't. My employer only took one months pay back.....which was okay....so that month I only had £83.00 to live on.

If I had noticed I would have told them first.... Just try and do the right thing.
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# 7
Volcano
Old 09-04-2007, 2:04 PM
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Personally I'd go with your option of sticking the extra cash into another account in case you're asked to pay it back, bearing in mind mountainofdebt's sensible advice.

Multinational companies make billions and pay their workers peanuts, no need to feel guilty. And no they don't always find out, as a company that overpaid me by 2 months wages in 1996 will testify (if they knew of course).
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# 8
vaio
Old 10-04-2007, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyboop View Post
This happened to me and I didn't even know! I was told out of the blue that I was being overpaid by £150.00 for month. There was a mix up in my hours etc which led to this mistake. When my salary was eventually adjusted I was earning so little! I should have done the math but didn't. My employer only took one months pay back.....which was okay....so that month I only had £83.00 to live on. If I had noticed I would have told them first.... Just try and do the right thing.
I seem to remember there is a maximum % they can take from your wages in cases of overpayment
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# 9
roxy7699
Old 10-04-2007, 1:44 AM
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check that the contract doesnt stipulate that it is your responsibility to check your wages if you choose to hold onto it
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# 10
Zelie
Old 13-04-2007, 12:40 PM
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Well holding onto it would be theft so best thing you can do is not spend it. Ideally whack it in a high interest bearing instant access account so when they do ask for it back you won't have difficulties.
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# 11
Dithering Dad
Old 13-04-2007, 1:05 PM
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Hi, I'm a payroll consultant (and have worked for many multinationals in my time) and would always fess up when I had been overpaid. Large companies have regular audits and reconciliations and eventually they find these sorts of mistakes. The longer it goes on, the more money will be deducted from your pay to redress the balance.

They can take the entire month's wage if that is what they are owed, because it is their money, not yours. Usually they come to an arrangement, especially if it is their mistake, but not always - especially if they think you knew about the mistake and kept quiet.

The real problem comes in reclaiming the tax, NI and pension (if any) payments made, especially if it crosses a tax year. An employer would take a dim view of having to sort out this sort of mess, especially if it clear that you kept quiet about the error (let's face it, most of us know to the penny how much we're paid, so if an extra 200 quid suddenly appears in your pay, you'd notice).
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# 12
eilidh_s
Old 13-04-2007, 10:02 PM
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A few of my friends work for the local council anda large amount of the staff got overpaid one month and apparently if you take the money straight out of your account they can't ask for it back as it prooves that you need it and so they can't take it back from you and you are actually being underpaid. Don't know if thereis any truth in that but it might be worth checking it out.
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# 13
clairehi
Old 13-04-2007, 10:09 PM
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Query it,maybe they are paying her the correct amount and you have got your sums wrong. there are a number of possibilities, a pay rise while she was on mat leave, adjustment for bank hols, etc.

if not, you are only going to worry until it is put right, arent you?
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# 14
tigtag02
Old 13-04-2007, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eilidh_s View Post
A few of my friends work for the local council anda large amount of the staff got overpaid one month and apparently if you take the money straight out of your account they can't ask for it back as it prooves that you need it and so they can't take it back from you and you are actually being underpaid. Don't know if thereis any truth in that but it might be worth checking it out.

Unfortunately this is not true. As all the other posters have said - an overpayment, regardless of blame is not yours and can therefore be claimed back.

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# 15
Dithering Dad
Old 19-04-2007, 11:34 AM
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Hmnn, last poster again TigTag? :rolleyes:

We had a nice little debate going here until you turned up and killed it off!
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# 16
Sponge
Old 19-04-2007, 1:53 PM
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I would tell them as soon as possible. It may be their mistake, but it's their money and they may well want it back. If you haven't already spent it, then put it to one side ready to return it. However, depending on how much the overpayment was and for how long it was being paid, then I certainly wouldn't be paying it back in one lump sum, no matter what anyone says. Especially if it puts you in a bad financial position, like in post #6. It's their mistake afterall and they can't demand full payment if it puts you in a position where you can't pay your mortgage, bills, buy food, etc.

A few years ago I was overpaid for several months and I genuinely couldn't afford to pay it back in one lump sum. So I offered an amount I could afford and spread the payments over 12 months.

Someone else I know was overpaid for a while and then retired. The mistake wasn't discovered until that time and they tried to get it back. He told them the money was long gone and he couldn't afford to pay anything back. The matter was dropped and he didn't pay back a penny.

Report the apparent mistake, see what they say and if they want repayments, offer them on your terms, not theirs.

Last edited by Sponge; 19-04-2007 at 1:58 PM.
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# 17
mister bojangles
Old 21-04-2007, 2:02 AM
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The danger in not informing the company asap is that they do not often request that overpayments are repaid via cheques. They often deduct from current pay. Reduction in fixed income (regular pay) often affects standing orders and direct debits, etc. The sooner the pay issue is clarified, the better. Don't keep quiet.
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# 18
jonesMUFCforever
Old 21-04-2007, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eilidh_s View Post
A few of my friends work for the local council anda large amount of the staff got overpaid one month and apparently if you take the money straight out of your account they can't ask for it back as it prooves that you need it and so they can't take it back from you and you are actually being underpaid. Don't know if thereis any truth in that but it might be worth checking it out.
My wife is a Council payroll officer and what you say is totally untrue.
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# 19
Habanero
Old 02-05-2007, 4:11 PM
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Check out this link and pay particular attention to the third last paragraph: http://www.legalpulse.com/site/legal...256D650063975F

it helped me out and I managed to argue the case with a local council and they eventually swept it under the carpet. Ching Ching!
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# 20
Bamber19
Old 02-05-2007, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaio View Post
I seem to remember there is a maximum % they can take from your wages in cases of overpayment
think you might be thinking of workers in the retail sector and deductions for cash shortages or stock deficiencies, this is set at 10%.
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