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I do hope everyone is safe and well. I need some clean cut advice.
My employer paid me whilst I was on a sabbatical - for a whole year in 2018 to 2019. At the time of the first and 2nd payment (Monthly) I told the then 'stand in' manager 2 months into the sabbatical I was being paid and he said he would sort it. I never heard a thing back from him. I assumed this was correct as he didn't tell me otherwise. I had no access to company systems whilst on this sabbatical email/phone/mobile contact. I was in a very rural part of the country so communication was very difficult.
They (My employer) are demanding the whole money to be paid back (in installments) over an agreed period. The error was down to the company and the manager not following procedure but neither can be proved. My word against his. Where do I stand legally? My Union are insisting the Company take their side of the liability for poor procedure and mismanagement of the situation. This has rolled on for nearly 2 years (from the time they started to pay me) without any resolution or conclusion. I wondered what your thoughts are on this situation. It's been a stressful time on top of Covid-19 (please don't think I am not blind and I'm very grateful to have a job I know other people on here do not and their prospects are not like mine.) The money is not there to be paid back. Luckily I'm employed still and continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The relationship between myself & the higher management is somewhat strained and has been for a long time. My immediate manager is not aware of the situation (I suspect) and therefore treats me no differently. Please can you advise on my legal rights to this case. Many thanks, and stay safe all of you. Much love and respect to the MSE family. Kind regards,