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  • FIRST POST
    • BIGC1
    • By BIGC1 2nd May 17, 10:18 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    BIGC1
    Overpayment
    • #1
    • 2nd May 17, 10:18 PM
    Overpayment 2nd May 17 at 10:18 PM
    Hi
    My situation may take some explaining as it has been going on for a few years now. I work for a large company in a manual role – my contract is part time.
    In 2012 I was offered the opportunity to act as a manager when the company required. This role required me to cover when the official managers were on holiday/off sick etc.
    On the occasions I ‘stepped up’ I would be compensated accordingly – not only the uplift in salary due to moving into a management role but also moving from part time to full time.
    For the following two years I ‘acted up’ regularly and appreciated the additional pay – I was expecting to see a significant increase in my weekly pay.
    I did not receive any letter advising me of what my increase would be in my role when I was ‘acting up’.
    Moving forward to 2014 – I received a letter from my employer informing me that I had been overpaid to the tune of nearly £5000 which was built up since I started acting up! They would be reclaiming the money through my salary, withholding my bonus for a few years.
    I initially obtained advice from a friend who works within Human Resources and contacted the overpayments department quoting ‘Estoppel’. I requested they immediately stopped taking the payments while we discuss the situation. They declined and said I would simply have to pay. I was also advised that the way forward would be to raise a grievance if I dispute their decision to take the money.
    I raised a grievance and did not hear any response.
    I then raised a further grievance and have been told that the company’s policy is that all overpayments must be paid.
    A few months ago the “the overpayment” was paid off.
    I would like your thoughts on whether you think it’s worth pursuing please. I have read a few cases on here which suggest that Estoppel is not often successful, however I believe my circumstances demonstrate that there really was no way I could know how much my pay increase would be and spent the money in good faith with no knowledge of any overpayment.
    Thank you in advance.
Page 1
    • BIGC1
    • By BIGC1 19th May 17, 9:52 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    BIGC1
    • #2
    • 19th May 17, 9:52 AM
    anyone?
    • #2
    • 19th May 17, 9:52 AM
    Anyone offer any advice as to whether i have a case to fight please??
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 19th May 17, 10:09 AM
    • 14,629 Posts
    • 14,357 Thanks
    Guest101
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 10:09 AM
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 10:09 AM
    Hi
    My situation may take some explaining as it has been going on for a few years now. I work for a large company in a manual role – my contract is part time.
    In 2012 I was offered the opportunity to act as a manager when the company required. This role required me to cover when the official managers were on holiday/off sick etc.
    On the occasions I ‘stepped up’ I would be compensated accordingly – not only the uplift in salary due to moving into a management role but also moving from part time to full time.
    For the following two years I ‘acted up’ regularly and appreciated the additional pay – I was expecting to see a significant increase in my weekly pay.
    I did not receive any letter advising me of what my increase would be in my role when I was ‘acting up’.
    Moving forward to 2014 – I received a letter from my employer informing me that I had been overpaid to the tune of nearly £5000 which was built up since I started acting up! They would be reclaiming the money through my salary, withholding my bonus for a few years.
    I initially obtained advice from a friend who works within Human Resources and contacted the overpayments department quoting ‘Estoppel’. I requested they immediately stopped taking the payments while we discuss the situation. They declined and said I would simply have to pay. I was also advised that the way forward would be to raise a grievance if I dispute their decision to take the money.
    I raised a grievance and did not hear any response.
    I then raised a further grievance and have been told that the company’s policy is that all overpayments must be paid.
    A few months ago the “the overpayment” was paid off.
    I would like your thoughts on whether you think it’s worth pursuing please. I have read a few cases on here which suggest that Estoppel is not often successful, however I believe my circumstances demonstrate that there really was no way I could know how much my pay increase would be and spent the money in good faith with no knowledge of any overpayment.
    Thank you in advance.
    Originally posted by BIGC1


    You may have a case, but you also carried on going to work and paying it off. Why didn't you stop?
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 19th May 17, 10:12 AM
    • 991 Posts
    • 2,156 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 10:12 AM
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 10:12 AM
    Did you take any steps to verify your new rate, at the time of agreement and/ or once the payments were received?

    Estoppel generally requires positive action on your part, you need more than "I thought it was right".
    • moneysaver242
    • By moneysaver242 19th May 17, 12:27 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    moneysaver242
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 12:27 PM
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 12:27 PM
    In general your pay in the UK is protected by the Employment Rights Act 1996. This protects you from unlawful deductions of earnings, however recovery of salary overpayments are specifically exempt from this.
    Estoppel is a principle that employees can use to argue that a recovery is unlawful. For this principle to apply you need to meet all 3 elements.
    1. You did not contribute to the error; 2. You had justifiable reason to believe the money was due; and 3. You spent the money in good faith.
    [I should stress that even if you meet all 3 this does not mean that the recovery is unlawful, only that you may have a chance with an employment tribunal]

    Based on the details you've provided its clear 1 & 3 apply, so I can only presume your employer is trying to argue the 2nd point, as you were not provided a contract but that is weak. You could possibly argue that you had verbal agreement, and acted in good faith. If you are in a union I would suggest you contact them, or failing that ACAS.
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