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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


  • BobMoBobMo Forumite
    1 posts
    Yes you should tell them as soon as possible.

    I was over paid by my employer for two and a half years without realising (all to do with a freeze at certain pay scales) the result was I owed the company £2,500. According to law they have a right to claim the money back... and over the same amount of time that they paid it out. Luckily the union got involved and a payment plan was agree as it effected 38 people. Two years later I’m still paying off £30 a month but it’s better than the amount they wanted to take every month. My advice is the longer you leave it the more you’ll have to pay back.
  • OzzukOzzuk Forumite
    1.8K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    I actually think you should keep the money.

    If you can't actually see how that is wrong then the quicker the company realise and dismiss you the better.
  • keepcalmandstayoutofdebtkeepcalmandstayoutofdebt Forumite
    4.3K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic
    I'm sure you will be just fine. I imagine you in work highly liked (the only thing that bothers most MSE'ers as to whether any work prob is really your fault) their just gutted they don't have your posting history to delve into if truth were known.

    Doesn't the system reward people who call in sick, who skive of work to attend interview in their employers time, don't have to worry about being late, so none of this would surprise me.

    There's a whole section of the work population, who no doubt will never experience the tap on the shoulder.

  • I have done payroll for many years and it has always annoyed me when someone is overpaid - often because of misinformation and sometimes a genuine mistake - and that person keeps quiet about it but is the first to shout when they have been underpaid !
  • NBLondonNBLondon Forumite
    3.7K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Practical answer:

    1) Tell payroll about it - by e-mail so you have a trail
    2) Don't spend the extra money - they will most likely just deduct it manually from your next pay
    3a) If they do - check the next few payslips carefully to make sure they haven't taken it off again.
    3b) If they don't, consider moving the excess money to an interest-bearing account with instant access (not that you'll get a lot)
    4) When they do catch on - move the money back and keep the interest.
    Wash your Knobs and Knockers... Keep the Postie safe!
  • MiddlestitchMiddlestitch Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    JillieA wrote: »
    Goodness me, what a po-faced lot of advisers we have this time!

    No, dear, we can just tell the difference between right and wrong without feeling the need to expand at length on it.
  • onashoestringonashoestring Forumite
    264 posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Legally this is your employer’s money and you WILL have to pay it back.

    Each month you ignore the situation the debt ( money you owe them) will be mounting up ; worse case scenario you could be prosecuted for “fraud by dishonestly - failing to disclose to your employer that you received funds you were not entitled to “

    There have been recent news cases about this .In case one a teenager was jailed for 4 years for not paying back an accidental overpayment from this employer.

    You can be pursued for this money even after you’ve left the job & bailiffs costs can be added on if you don’t pay back when they ask for it.

    My money saving advice would be :
      Don’t spend the money.( put it into an instant access saving account so you can at least get some interest on it )

      Immediately inform your employer IN WRITING ( so you have proof that you are not being dishonest )

      Come to a WRITTEN agreement with your employer about how you will repay .
    • So many posts here complaining about the fact that similar issues crop up time and again. Of course they do. Lots of people will be accessing the forum for the first time. Other people (like me) are interested in reading people’s responses to dilemmas which may not affect them. Yet more are not sure where exactly they should be posting. Give them all a chance rather than posting a negative comment, please
      Have a good day everyone....🎈🎈
    • BarryfanBarryfan Forumite
      67 posts
      Of course you should pay it back - you haven't earned it, and what would happen if your employer discovered the overpayment and wanted you to pay it back? Surely it's more important to have a clear conscience than have an extra few pounds?
    • PunPun Forumite
      740 posts
      I've been Money Tipped!
      Lots of people will be accessing the forum for the first time. Other people (like me) are interested in reading people’s responses to dilemmas which may not affect them.

      I think you'll find most people who are making what you describe as 'negative' comments are merely stunned that this is classed as a 'dilemma' when it is actually a simple question: should I be honest or dishonest? Why is it remotely interesting to see whether people you don't know at all advocate honesty or dishonesty?

      These daft non-dilemmas are only worth answering if there is a true dilemma. There rarely is.
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