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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I tell my employer it has overpaid me?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Employment, Jobseeking & Training
54 replies 38.7K views
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  • wonkowonko Forumite
    67 posts
    10 Posts
    I was/am in this position. Following my leaving the company, it emerged they had indeed overpaid me. I sought advise on here and other places and you are legally obliged to repay any additional amounts.

    However, I figured I would drag it out a bit and see where it went – before agreeing to pay back the full amount. This resulted in being contacted by a debt collection agency who ultimately threatened to force the sale of my home in order to effect their clients refund. Naturally I capitulated well before that point but lets face it, if I were still employed and knowing what I do now, I think it better to tell them than let them find out and chase you – you’ll probably pick up a few smarty points with your employer and not face the doom and gloom of what may transpire.

    So the message here is fess up, pay up or face the ramifications that are not pleasant.
  • JaclJacl Forumite
    1 posts
    Of course you should tell your employer, it is fraud and bad faith to hold onto money that you know is not yours and is an error. If it is discovered and you haven't been honest with your employer how would it look, you could even loose your job! Is it worth holding on to an over-payment to risk your employment and employment ability as you certainly wouldn't get a reference..
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    177 posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Not this old chestnut again!
    Of course you tell your employer about the error. Proves your honest, you might even get a raise as a result. Let your employer find out you knew you had been wrongly overpaid, and did not report it, you might get sacked for dishonesty, plus a reference that does not get you a new job.
    Yes, I know you can't be given a bad reference these days, but they can be less than enthusiastic about you.
    Keeping the overpayment deliberately is theft.
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    177 posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    It has appeared several times already.
  • Why is this even a question? This is black and white, right and wrong. OF COURSE you must tell.
  • JillieAJillieA Forumite
    19 posts
    Goodness me, what a po-faced lot of advisers we have this time! Notwithstanding the legality issue, yes it is a Moral Dilemma, because Honesty is a moral issue.
    Having said that, I think Marich has hit it dead right. If you don't notice that your pay contains double the 'acting' payment, you are showing yourself too dim to have the position, or of dubious honesty which will certainly reduce the level to which they value you.
    Of course it is illegal to keep money you know doesn't belong to you but no doubt that would resolve itself fairly quickly when the firm spots that they have overpaid you. However at that point, it is too late to save your reputation for honesty (or dishonesty!) Your good name is worth more to you.
  • eaoeao Forumite
    11 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Think hard about this; you might just be able to get away with this but go the whole hog....is there anything else sitting around that you could purloin,
    a laptop, a fire extinguisher, in fact anything portable and not chained down.
  • FiConnoFiConno Forumite
    1 posts
    Absolutely. They will find it out they will sue if necessary and you can be taken to small claims to get it back. Of course by that time you really have shown you are dishonest and should be sacked
  • KatrinaWavesKatrinaWaves Forumite
    1.9K posts
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    ✭✭✭
    JillieA wrote: »
    Goodness me, what a po-faced lot of advisers we have this time! Notwithstanding the legality issue, yes it is a Moral Dilemma, because Honesty is a moral issue.
    Having said that, I think Marich has hit it dead right. If you don't notice that your pay contains double the 'acting' payment, you are showing yourself too dim to have the position, or of dubious honesty which will certainly reduce the level to which they value you.
    Of course it is illegal to keep money you know doesn't belong to you but no doubt that would resolve itself fairly quickly when the firm spots that they have overpaid you. However at that point, it is too late to save your reputation for honesty (or dishonesty!) Your good name is worth more to you.

    I’d rather listen to these ‘po faced’ accurate opinions than the opinions of those who only bother with the site after an email to post on some ridiculous ‘moral dilemma’

    These people are here giving accurate advice everyday. These ‘moral dilemmas’ should stay over on the marriage board where people like pandering and nonsense.
  • I used to deal with salary mistakes and was always amazed how quickly people would notice any shortfall, no matter how small , but 'never notice' when they were overpaid, sometimes by £100s. I used to scrutinize salaries and always knew when an error either way was made. Believe me you can't pull the 'I didn't notice' card for an overpayment without seeming dishonest.
    Aug GC £124.15 / £250
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