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Over Payment By the Employer


nasar
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Hi All,First time im posting on this site. But been reading for a long time, so this is why I thought maybe someone can help me here.I’ve been working for a very large IT services firm. Who provide us with many benefits. One of these is Car Allowance / Company car.I was on a company car plan but then received a six month band for speeding (I know that’s naught but im a reformed driver now) during the band the company took the company car back and gave me car allowance. Naturally after the six months I asked for a company car back which I received but for nearly a year the company continued to pay me car allowance as well (£320 per month) I was completely unaware of this and did not notice this until they flagged it up with me. The reason why I would not notice is because I pay would vary every month due to the amount of work I do and travel time and overtime so it was never a set amount that would come in, plus stupidly I never checked my payslips. So the pediment that im in is that my company want this money back now and are asking me to pay back £180 per month but what I want to know is that is this ok for them to do as it was the companies responsibly to change the me from car allowance to company car so they should have stop paying me the allowance, and I have received the allowance in complete error. Any advice and help would be appreciatedThanks Nasar

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I dont know much about this sort of thing but I am pretty sure they have a right to reclaim the money, if £180 a month is too much then perhaps you could negotiate with them to lower the amount as it was not initially your fault that you were being over paid but they could turn around and say that you have a duty to check your payslip (which if you do overtime etc you really should do anyway to ensure you're paid for your work!)

 

Im sure the other more informed CAGers will be along soon to help you with some more advice

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Yup, they have a legal right to remove the money at an acceptable rate that doesn't a) put you in financial difficulty or b) put you under the minimum wage - you can always negotiate this rate you pay it back, but if you leave the company then they will expect it all at once - but again you can negotiate this again.

I am not a legal professional or adviser, I am however a Law Student and very well versed areas of Employment Law. Anything I write here is purely from my own experiences! If I help, then click the star to add to my reputation :)

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Yes, they are entitled to have back every penny (although not with interest) and your contract will almost certainly have a clause saying so. Check your payslips in future - I'm sure you'd have acted quickly if they were underpaying you!

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The key to this is to negotiate if you feel that the amount requested is going to put you in trouble financially.

 

Just to correct a couple of points made above though - recovery of salary overpayment does not need your agreement, or a clause in the contract which allows them to - if they really wanted they could take the whole lot back at once irrespective of whether this might cause hardship, but this would undoubtedly give rise to other problems in terms of damaging the mutual trust and confidence between employer and employee, so be open and honest about what is affordable. The point about any deduction leaving you below the NMW is also a red herring as the overpayment was made over and above the wages, so to repay it would still mean that wages above the NMW had been maintained throughout.

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