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Hi quick question, I have been underpaid at work to an overpayment at work a few months back, my employer has completely taken my whole months salary as I have dropped down my contract at work, leaving me with literally nothing for the month to live on. I have bills etc to pay and nothing to pay them with. Is it legal for them to take literally all of my pay without even telling me in writing first? and Can I arrange something with them regarding payment back? I feel like I should take legal proceedings against them if they don't, can anyone help?

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Did they discuss the overpayment with you beforehand or make any attempt to agree a repayment plan?


Were you aware you'd been paid double at the time and have you spent it?


Do you work in the retail industry?

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no i was unaware of any overpayment until yesterday when I discussed my payslip with District Manager where I had been paid for one hour of work (yes one hour) for a whole month . There was no attempt by the company to make a repayment plan, and yes i work in the retail industry.

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The company are entitled to reclaim the overpayment but to do it this way is an awful insensitive way to do it. I would raise a grievance with your manager and try and get them to help you get an advance payment to tide you over and agree aatimescale to repay the overpayment over a sensible period of say 6 months.

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this is from this ACAS link: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4125


Pay deductions


One of three conditions has to be met for you to lawfully make deductions from wages or take payments from a worker. The deduction or payment must be:

  • required or authorised by legislation (for example, income tax or national insurance deductions)
  • authorised by the worker's contract - provided the worker has been given a written copy of the relevant terms or a written explanation of them before it is made
  • consented to by the worker in writing before it is made.

There are exemptions from these conditions which allow you to recover, for example, an earlier overpayment of wages or expenses to a worker.


The law protects individuals from having unauthorised deductions made from their wages, including complete non-payment. This protection applies both to employees and to some self-employed workers.


There are extra protections for individuals in retail work that make it illegal for an employer to deduct more than 10 per cent from the gross amount of any payment of wages (except the final payment on termination of employment) if the deduction is made because of cash shortages or stock deficiencies.


Workers who believe they have suffered an unlawful deduction from wages should take it up with their manager and/or HR/payroll department. If this doesn't resolve the matter, recourse may be made to formal internal procedures. Only if all else fails should a complaint to an employment tribunal be considered.


hope this is of use.

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