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Overpayment on final payslip

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Hi, I am hoping for a little advice although I only found this forum after sending an email to my former employer an hour or so ago.


I left my employer (a very well known global computer services organisation), on December 5th 2008. My leaving package was complex and I took most of it in pension for tax reasons. I relied on my employer to get the rest right because it involved employee share schemes, payment in lieu of holiday and other benefits etc.


A few weeks after the final payment was made they wrote to me and told me about an overpayment. I returned a cheque which has been cashed. Now (after more than 6 months) they have written to me again. Its easier if I cut and paste my response:


"This note is to confirm our discussion this morning and to reiterate my observations.


I left HAL on the 5th December 2008 and this email is all about my final payment(s).


You wrote to me some months ago to tell me I had been overpaid. The letter contained a statement that failure to repay would result in debt collection. I found the inclusion of this statement insulting as there had been no previous communication between us and I was completely unaware of any overpayment. Furthermore it did not reflect the truth of the situation - HAL had mispaid me and should have apologised and asked for my help to rectify the matter. I sent you a cheque and believed I would hear no more - after all some sort of audit/checking must have now happened to bring this up.


This Saturday I have received another letter from you stating again that I have been overpaid (a different sum - £590.23). Bearing in mind that (a) this is related to the same final payment, (b) more than six months has elapsed and © you have already claimed back one overpayment, this smacks of incompetence.


I am left wondering how many more overpayment letters are likely to wing their way to me, and over what period - will I still be getting these in a year, or maybe 2 or 3 years? How am I now to believe that the earlier overpayment which I have repaid was legitimate in the first place? HAL's monthly payslips are often far more complex than they need be, let alone the final one where I just had to trust it to be correct. Obviously now I know that trust was misplaced.


Irrespective of how this goes I now would like a complete and clear breakdown of every calculation related to the make up of my final payment(s).


In the interim I ask you at worst to delay any action you may think of taking as it must be obvious to you that I cannot pay you. Quite simply I am not in any position to pay in beans let alone pounds. I am unemployed and have a negative bank balance. Taking me to court cannot improve the situation. At best I would hope that you would see this for what it is - an unreasonable request given the intervening time and previous claim - and that HAL should accept responsibility for its actions.


In a time of great personal uncertainty the stress and anxiety levels in my household are high, and this is yet another worry to add to the mountain. For that reason I ask you to be swift in your response.


Yours faithfully "


Have I done the right thing? Is there any legal position I should adopt? Thank you in advance.



Edited by clarrie

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Hello and Welcome, clarrie.


I'll move this thread to the appropriate Forum.


EDIT: Thread moved.






Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

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I would certainly look into the possibility of getting legal advice if you're able to.


There was a recent case regarding a lady who was continuously overpaid in her job. She was allowed to keep the overpayment and continue to be paid the same amount as the court believed her assumption that she was being correctly paid. It may relate, or it may not...I'm sure some of the legally adept on here will be able to provide a bit more clarity.


I personally think there's a similarity since your former employers have shown their lack of competance by admitting to 2 mistakes now. As far as you're concerned you were paid correctly (a fair assumption if the payslip is overly complicated) and you've already shown your faith in it being correct by repaying the first amount they say was overpaid. The mistakes themselves also cast doubt on their ability to provide the correct payment amount.


Have they given you any breakdown of what's owed at all, or indicated the amount you've already repaid has been taken into consideration?

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Thank you Flipper79 for your reply.


I will certainly look at getting legal advice if I can find some affordable and reputable person.


I doubt your example of the lady receiving regular extra payment is relevant to my case. I suspect she could have argued that she was dependent upon the income she was receiving, and had taken on commitments based on her earnings.


They have simply stated that the payment is a deduction for ESPP which is an employee share scheme. They have certainly made no mention of any previous repayment I made. I find it hard to understand why a deduction for shares would lead to me being asked to repay. The share scheme is paid for out of my gross or net pay dependent on which share scheme it is. So if a deduction has been incorrectly applied I would think I would be the one who has lost out, and not gained - unless I got the shares.


Of course if they are right and I have to pay then lots of questions arise:


1) tax and NI position for the year now closed

2) the deduction may have been used to buy shares, so what was the purchase price, and what is the selling price now or when I sold them


I have not had a reply to my email yet from my ex-employer.



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