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Reclaiming overpayments

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I've had a letter sent to me from my employer requesting that I owe nearly £450 in overpayments as a result of a human error that dates back to 2014. The letter states that this was an error relating to 'working time directive' having been set up twice by the same organisation?
My question is;
Can they make me pay this back?
I currently do not work with the organisation full time, but have a 'bank' contract which allows me to work when I need to. Currently, i am limiting the amount of work I do with them, so only bringing in a day or two wages a month....which does not cover the overpayment requested.
Advice would be appreciated. 


  • zx81zx81 Forumite
    29.6K posts
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    Yes, if a mistake has been made, it can be corrected.

    But make a repayment arrangement names on what you can afford.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
    102.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Can they make me pay this back?

    Yes. An error does not give you entitlement to keep the money.  It would be the same the other way around if they owed you money.  You would expect to be given it.

    Advice would be appreciated. 

    Normally in these scenarios, you end up agreeing on a regular payment schedule over 12-24 months.  In view of covid-19, you should be able to defer starting this.  Indeed, you can string it out a big

    1 - letter one telling them that you cannot afford the repay the money they are requesting (do not offer repayment plan)

    2 - wait for their response.   They may offer a repayment plan in that letter.   They may use stronger language.

    3 - reply to that letter (in writing) saying you only have £x (a lower amount) available to repay them as a lump or you could do a repayment plan over 4 years.

    4 - they will then either accept the lower amount to get rid of the case or they will agree a repayment plan but probably on a 12-24 month basis.

    It may play out differently to that but generally, that is the blueprint you look for.   By replying in writing you add a delay.  Plus, with Covid-19, they are almost certainly going to be on reduced capacity and may not get around to looking at it for many months with each stage.   Buying you more time.

    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
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