Alleged overpayment of contractual maternity pay

(5 Posts)
Smokey69 Fri 22-Nov-13 11:12:31

To cut a long story short I took maternity leave in 2007, I received a letter before leaving stating which months I would be paid for and which were unpaid from my head of personnel. I took an authorized career break during which time I tried to sort out the annual leave that my employer owed me from when I was on Maternity leave, this led to them e-mailing me in January 2009 to inform me that I had been 'overpaid' contractual maternity pay. The pay office disagreed with the letter that I had received from our HR head and informed me that I should only have been paid for 26 weeks not 39 as stated in the letter. I contacted our head of personnel who answered the e-mail to pay services saying that I had been paid correctly. Nothing more heard until July 2009 when received a letter informing me of the 'overpayment' again and wanting repayment plan, again the head of personnel emailed them informing them that I had been paid correctly. Cut forward to January this year, still on career break and had a letter from pay services threatening me with solicitors for repayment of maternity 'overpayment' again! I contacted them, sent all proof showing that it had been questioned 3 times and each time I had been told that I had been paid correctly. I was due to return to work in May this year but voluntary redundancy came up and I applied and got it, but they paid me by mistake for May. I had already filled in forms to return to work but they hadn't completed the paperwork, so therefore I knew this money wasn't mine, I notified our pay services and kept the money separate in my bank so that it didn't get spent.
Well, this month, after my redundancy finish date I receive another e-mail demanding a payment schedule for the maternity 'overpayment', it's been six years now since they paid me, I really thought the money was mine and according to the original letter and 2 subsequent e-mails it was! I volunteered the information about the ovepayment in May this year and have paid it back by bank transfer as this was never mine to keep, but the maternity pay is another matter, should I get a solicitor involved as this is what they are threatening?

flowery Fri 22-Nov-13 11:27:29

I'm sure if they instruct a solicitor the solicitor will advise them they haven't got a leg to stand on and to drop it. I would ignore.

Smokey69 Fri 22-Nov-13 11:35:41

Thanks flowery, it just seems to keep coming back to haunt me though and it's not a small amount of money either. They haven't yet paid me my redundancy pay, it is due the end of this month, just waiting for them to pounce on that!

flowery Fri 22-Nov-13 11:50:12

Sounds like you have plenty of proof the money is yours.

If they haven't paid redundancy yet my concern would be they decide to deduct the amount from that.

Smokey69 Fri 22-Nov-13 14:05:37

Mine too, will just have to deal with that if it happens, I don't know where I would stand for a employment tribunal though as I have been made redundant, am no longer employed? I've read up on the 'mistake of law' and my circumstances seem to fit this, I'm hoping that this last investigation by them into the 'overpayment' will be the end of it but.......

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