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Advice for my daughter please. Overpayment claim?


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Hello,

My daughter left new employment after about 6 weeks. She was still on probation and it was her first employment after a long term illness. The reasons behind leaving are for another day but I'll briefly outline her problem. She was sent a letter stating that she had been overpaid and that she needed to repay it by a certain date. The letter had no letterhead, for a large company. There is no breakdown of this overpayment, all she has is the two wage slips. The last wage slip she recieved, she recieved a very small amount of money. She doesn't dispute being off sick but there is nothing to show how the overpayment has occurred or if this is accurate. She has now received a 'Final notice' letter. 

3008231.pdf 3008232.pdf

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Please can you tell us more about it.
What was her normal wage and what is the extent of the alleged overpayment.

How old is your daughter?


And frankly you may as well name the company. There is no downside to you in this at all.

Also, please will you follow this link – estoppel – and read what we have to say about it. This may well apply to you
 

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Also, when did she start the employment. When did she finish. Was notice served by either side – details please.

Why did she leave?

You say that your daughter had a long-term illness – please can you tell us briefly what kind of illness this was and how long it endured. Did the company know about it?
Is your daughter now clear of this illness?

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11 minutes ago, honeybee13 said:

Hi.

Do you think you could show us the payslips [without personal information] please? Also, has she asked for a breakdown of how the figure owed was calculated?

HB

The relationship between her and the company had broken down so she has not been in further contact with them. 

wage slips.pdf

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1 minute ago, slimceagirl said:

The relationship between her and the company had broken down so she has not been in further contact with them. 

wage slips.pdf 254.75 kB · 0 downloads

this really is far too vague. If you want us to help you then we need better information. We also need you to address all of the questions which I put above.

If you come here for us to help you then you have to help us to help you

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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

Please can you tell us more about it.
What was her normal wage and what is the extent of the alleged overpayment.

How old is your daughter?


And frankly you may as well name the company. There is no downside to you in this at all.

 

She is 29, has multiple health issues of which the company were aware at the interview including Fibromyalgia , ADHD and Autism (linked to learning). She started working with them a few weeks ago with no training, which she was suposed to have.

She was reprimanded a couple of times by one of the directors in front of customers which left her visibly shaken. Several occurences of bullying happened in the time which eventually made her ill. She had several days off, on one occasion she passed out in the store and an ambulance was called.

The management were happy with her work but the attitude of the director made her ill. She mutually agreed with managers to eventually leave. While under employment legislation we know she was under the 2 year rule, there were several shortcomings. The company is Specsavers. 

 

1 hour ago, BankFodder said:



You say that your daughter had a long-term illness – please can you tell us briefly what kind of illness this was and how long it endured. Did the company know about it?
Is your daughter now clear of this illness?

She worked there for approximately 5 weeks. The fibromyalgia is long term but is aggravated by stress and anxiety. 

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It's true that she's under the two-year rule for most employment-related tribunal issues, but remember her statutory rights apply from day one of employment and, further, cannot be contracted away. The most common example of this is discrimination on the usual legal grounds.

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  • Nicky Boy changed the title to Advice for my daughter please. Overpayment claim?

Although she doesn't benefit from two years employment protection, she does benefit immediately from the equality act and on that basis she could alleged discrimination.

There is a fairly short time to make a complaint under the equality act – six months – but I can imagine that the company would probably be pleased to avoid this kind of scandal and would want to settle.
Especially a well-known high street name such as Specsavers.
What was her role. Did she work in a customer facing role?

In terms of the overpayment – I think there is nothing to worry about. I hope you have read the estoppel link.

The important thing with estoppel is to show good faith – utmost good faith.

Therefore I suggest that she sends a letter – immediately.

 

Quote

Dear XXX

I am referring to your request for repayment of an overpayment of £XXX.

You made the overpayment after a very confusing history with your company during which I was bullied and my various illnesses of which you are completely aware were not acknowledged in your treatment of me and in fact which put me at a disadvantage.

In particular the treatment of me by your director [ XXX name] in front of customers affected me very badly – left me distressed and shaken.

You are fully aware of this because I discussed this with XXX.

In terms of the overpayment, I received the money in good faith. I relied on the fact that you would conduct your financial operation and your pay function correctly. Had I for a moment realise that the money was an overpayment, I would have immediately reported to you and offered to repay it. As it is, in the confusion I accepted that the money was due to me – and I am still not certain of the real situation.

Anyway, I have so little money – as you are probably aware, that the money has now been used and I am unable to pay to.

I resent the fact that you have sent me a threatening letter – but if you do want to proceed with legal action then please feel free. You will find that I will defend the matter vigourously in court and not only that bring up the question of your harassing treatment of me and in particular the bullying nature of your director [XXX name].

Separately, you should be aware that I am taking advice and although I am not able to benefit from the protection that I would have had had I completed two years employment, I am protected by the Equality Act and is clear to me and my advisers that you have discriminated against me and I'm considering my position.

I have six months to bring action. I would rather avoid the stress and inconvenience of having to deal with you in this way and so I invite you to make some appropriate offer.
Please do not for a moment imagine that simply writing to me in order to forgive the alleged overpayment is sufficient.
In respect of the alleged overpayment, if in fact there was an overpayment then you are stopped from recovering it – and I will plead this in court as well if this is where you decide to go.

You should consider a sensible and appropriate offer and if you have difficulty with this then you should speak to your director [name XXX] and point out that they are responsible for the problems that they have caused and the potential damage to the reputation of Specsavers which normally speaking is a respected high-street brand.

I look forward to hearing from you very soon but in the meantime I will continue taking advice.

Yours sincerely

 

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Have a look at the letter I have suggested. See whether you think that it is appropriate, whether it is accurate.

You may not want to refer to the threat of an action under the equality act and in fact you should only make this threat if you feel that this is something you would like to pursue. We would help you.

In terms of the overpayment and the estoppel – you must send the letter referring to all of that in the way that I have suggested.

Once again, a successful plea of estoppel relies completely on demonstration of utmost good faith and so proper communication and explanation is essential.

I can tell you right now that with the risks that we have explained to them in the above letter and the very small amount of money they are claiming that they want to recover from you, there is pretty well zero chance that they would begin a legal action.

I don't think you have to worry very much.

 

And if they did begin a legal action – you would win.

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Thankyou very much for this. I do appreciate the time you have put into it. I did read the estoppel thread a few times to try and understand what it meant. Yes she did take the overpayment in good faith and wasnt nor wouldn't have been aware of this had she carried on in her employment with no further sickness events and felt the need to go. She left under mutual agreement with the manager who said she needed time to get better, and agreed that she wasn't the happy person who had started there several weeks previously. 

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Okay well edit/modify the letter that I have suggested and post your final draft here for us to have a look.

Make a decision whether or not you do want to go and try and make a claim under the equality act. We can help you to a certain extent but this is not an area of great experience for us.
On the other hand, it could be well worth starting a claim with a view to obtaining some kind of settlement from them.
Does your daughter have any means? Where is she living? She with you – or does she have some independent housing

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Thankyou its definitely something to consider. She did join a union but there is not much they seem to be able to assist with considering she was only in employment for a short period. She is still living at home at the moment. She has had to begin a claim for UC again so is living in limbo financially. She has a disability under the UC rules. 

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Contact the union and asked them to help her with a claim under the equality act.

They probably haven't considered that. I'm afraid these unions are very often very limited in their thinking. Ask them their opinion. They still probably won't be very enthusiastic but at least if they raise the possibility with Specsavers management and in particular refer to the behaviour of the director, then that might be enough to persuade Specsavers to part with a few hundred extra quid – which is always useful

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