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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


  • As a Payroll Manager my advice is to tell your employer. They are within the law to recover the overpayment from you. They will notice eventually and you will have to pay it back. If you bring their attention to it you will be respected for your honesty.
  • JubeeJubee Forumite
    1 posts
    If your employer realises in due course that you have been overpaid they will ask you to repay the sum owed. Most employers will adopt a reasonable approach and if you cannot afford to repay it as a lump sum may allow you to repay it in instalments. However if your employer doesn’t take this approach , even if you have not agreed to repay, the law allows them to deduct the overpayment from your salary.
    They employer will know that most employees will know if an overpayment has occurred because your salary is more than was expected and could take a dim view of your failure to notify them. The exception will be if your contract is incorrect or in your case if the arrangements for your temp increase in pay were incorrect and your salary is aligned with the incorrect statement in your contract.
  • charlie792charlie792 Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    As others have said not really moral dilemma.
    Employers can (and will) seek re-imbursment, and depending on what your contract says can deduct this from your salary automatically without agreement from you.

    We actually had this very situation recently, an employee had an agreement with management at the outset to work a set number of days a week and was offered X salary. Due to a misunderstanding they were paid the full salary rather than it pro-rata based on the days they worked. The employee genuinely didn't know the salary they were receiving wasn't correct. This went on for two years and only came to light when they put in an application to go full time - when payroll said 'hang on your full time already'
    The employee ended up owing several thousand pounds - due to the amount it was agreed a repayment plan was set up with an agreed amount deducted automatically each month until repaid, with the proviso that any balance outstanding is repayable in full if they leave employment with the company.

    Things catch up with you eventually.
    MFW 2020 #111 Offset Balance £69,394.80/ £69,595.11
    Aug 2014 £114,750 -35 yrs (2049)
    Sept 2016 £104,800
    Nov 2018 £82,500 -24 yrs (2042)

  • If you were being underpaid would you say anything? Tell them about it now, it will catch up with you in the end.
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