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Salary Overpayment Recovery from Employment Five Years Ago

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Hi All,


This is my first post (so be gentle with me!) but I just wanted some info on an issue that has dropped through my letterbox quite recently...


An employer I haven't worked for since May 2005, has sent a letter advising an overpayment of salary and that I need to send the amount by cheque as it is now their intention to seek recovery of this overpayment.


What astounds me, is that there is no number, email or address on the letter to respond and query this, no dates as to when this overpayment actually took place, and the letter itself is quite unprofessional on cheap paper with cheap ink that hasn't printed half the logo and text!


What is also a bit strange is that I worked for this company twice, Nov 03 - May 04, and then Sep 04 to May 05, and they haven't stated which period of employment they are referring to as my salaries were different for both (first full time, second part time).


As far as I can remember, I never received any overpayments, but as it was four and a half and five and a half years ago, I no longer have wage slips or my contract, only bank statements which show how much I was paid, but no details of hours etc.


Legally, where would I stand with this matter, as there is no way I am sending a cheque just from this tatty letter requesting it without any evidence that it actually was overpaid, but I have no contact details to request any proof, just an address to send the cheque to, and I can't understand why they suddenly have decided, five years down the line, that I owe them money!


Any advice will be very much appreciated!!


Many Thanks!!

Edited by milano09
Entered my name!

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Is it a substantial amount of money?


Does the letter state that it is a 'letter before action', or state what they intend to do next if you don't send the money?

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Cheers for the reply.


No doesn't say letter of action, just says,


"re salary overpayment" and that they are intending to recover the overpayment.


Not really a substantial amount, couple of hundred pounds which I can pay back if it actually was overpaid, but I just find it so strange that they've left it so long, and that the letter is so vague with no details or even a contact number!



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and it doesn't state anything about what they intend to do next if I don't pay, just to send the cheque made payable to them for the amount and thanks for your co-operation in this matter.


That's it!!

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Well, personally, I'd just ignore it.

See what happens next.


If it's really playing on your mind, you could write to the postal address given, stating that you require further particulars of why/when/how you owe this money - see how they reply.

In fact, I'd certainly do this before paying anything.


I don't claim to be an an expert about this matter, hopefully someone will be along soon who can advise you better.


I've seen a few posts like yours on here.

There seems to be an argument on a legal principle called 'Estoppel'.

I've just had a brief look.

Google 'estoppel overpayment'


Simply put; if it's been a fair time since they paid you, it was their mistake in the first place, and you've already spent the money thinking it was yours to spend - then you've got a good argument for not paying them back.

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Hiya, thanks for the advice, I was considering just ignoring it and see if they send anything else through...


I've had a google on estoppel overpayment, found some case studies where if anything has gone to court, if someones been paid a small amount each month, like £10, for a couple of years, it is easier to argue that I genuinely believed it was mine and did not realise, rather than a lump sum of a large amount.


That must be what has happened, because I cannot remember an overpayment at all!!


Thanks so much for responding, really appreciate it!!

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