Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Any employment lawyers out there please ??

(15 Posts)
ginorwine Wed 27-Jan-16 19:29:01

My manager told me today that I
Have been put on the wrong pay scale for five years and I need to pay back the overpayment . It may be approx 7 grand but may be adjusted as due to the pay I also
Overpaid tax , n i and pension contribution .
I totally get that tho it is their mistake I have to go on the correct salary . This will
Cause chaos as I set my lifestyle to
This salary which I had no idea was incorrect .
Eg recent mortgage change.
Son going to uni .
However on top
Of this reduction monthly I also need to re pay the created dept so I have reduced income and increased outgoing .
I presume I can negotiate what I can pay ?
Someone said with utilities it is written off after 2 year s and this may apply to a mistake made by employer? I doubt it but I wd like to know what rights I may have . Finance dept said I may be able to
Decline it being taken out of wage and then pay what I can . Help please !!

HermioneWeasley Wed 27-Jan-16 19:42:24

I think you probably need to ring ACAS, as it will be difficult for any of us to give you a definitive answer.

The general rule is that if you have been overpaid from your agreed salary and benefits then the company can reclaim it. I'm not clear what you mean by on the wrong pay scale, but if you had an agreed salary and this was an admin error on their part, I would say that is tough - you agreed £X and it's not your problem if they got that wrong.

ginorwine Wed 27-Jan-16 20:56:56

Thanks .

N3wYear2016 Wed 27-Jan-16 21:07:47

I would get everything in writing

5 years is a long time

I know some people who were paid incorrectly for 2 years+ & were allowed to stay on the same pay

annielostit Wed 27-Jan-16 21:29:35

www.payandbenefitsmagazine.co.uk/article/recovering-overpayments-righting-error

D check ACAS or cab. You need help.

N3wYear2016 Wed 27-Jan-16 22:14:26

Suggest put in the work section on MN too

MyWey Wed 27-Jan-16 23:00:17

Can you clarify whether you were overpaid what you should have been or they agreed a salary with you when you took the job that they have subsequently decided is outside the salary band for your job grade? I would imagine their ability to recoup is based on whether you should have known they were paying you more than your agreed salary or you accepted a particular salary but now they are going back on that.

ginorwine Thu 28-Jan-16 12:53:19

What happened was I started on a certain grade .they then increased the grade in increments .there was a bar to stop my bar going higher which I did not know about . I work for a huge organisation .they now say they should have stopped at a certain point but didn't .

ginorwine Thu 28-Jan-16 12:54:13

My wage not bar

BellsaRinging Thu 28-Jan-16 13:03:43

Is there any way that they can argue that you should have known about the bar? If not then you are not at fault in any way. Were you sent letters whenever your pay was increased? If so, look them out, and see what they say.

This sounds like a simple matter of contract law. It's not a case where there was an obvious over-payment that you should have notified them about-you couldn't have known about the bar, and therefore were entitled to assume that the salary you were receiving was correct. I would not agree to re-pay anything-this was their mistake, not yours.

With regard to continuing salary, there is an argument that the salary you are currently on is your contracted salary (basically because your pay terms have been varied up to that level by agreement over time). There will need to be some discussion about what your appropriate salary is. In my view it should continue at your current rate, but be capped there till the rest of your grade catch up.

Basically I would certainly not agree to the variation in salary or to the repayment. Get some expert legal advice, of course, but in the meantime don't agree to do anything (it may compromise your future rights).

MyWey Thu 28-Jan-16 13:30:11

I agree with PP. This doesn't sound like a simple case of overpayment and that you should have know you were being paid. In that case their right to reduce your pay and reclaim the overpayment is not as clear cut as they are leading you to believe.

Do you agree you should have been aware that your pau was higher than it should have been or did you believe it was in line with your job grade?

My employer has salary grades with the minimum and maximum clearly advertised on the intranet but I'm not sure how many people would check if they got a letter confirming a standard increase that it still fell within the grade boundaries.

Do you have written confirmation of the pay increases you received and any restrictions/ceilings to the standard increase?

For example, we had an all staff email that said the annual pay increase was 2% apart from those on more than £40k who would receive a flat £800. In that case if someone on £45k got 2% in error then the employer could claim back the overpayment as the employee knew they should get £800 not 2%.

However, if the grade maximum was £45,500 and the employee on £45,000 correctly received their £800 increase but the employer failed to increase the grade's maximum salary to accommodate this then I don't think they could reduce the employees salary to £45,500 in line with the grade maximum or recoup the "overpayment".

I appreciate your situation might not be as clear cut as that but it sounds like it might boil down to them not upping their grade maximums in line with their agreed pay increases rather than just overpaying you what you were entitled to.

ginorwine Thu 28-Jan-16 15:32:36

I started work for the employer 25 years ago . I hit the bar sometime ago .this is called scale point 36 .we also have a standard of living increase - so even if you have reached the bar you get an increase .i simply thought that the increase was the standard of living increase as this goes up every year and my wage did too .once past the bar you do not get letters so I just thought it was the standard of living increase . I wd have told them otherwise as I wdnt want a debt .
Although I am educated above degree level I do no have a maths GCSE despite three attempts as I sort of don't get numbers - for eg colleagues work out my leave entitlement for me as I panic and don't get the formula .
I admit I did not check my wages against anything so I guess it's half my fault .i wd struggle to calculate , with ta. Etc the difference between a 30 k wage and a 31 k wage for eg - I would know it was more but not by how much pa ! 😔I have skills but numbers ? No .

MyWey Thu 28-Jan-16 21:28:01

I find it very odd that they don't notify you of pay increases or how much the standard of living increase is. How are you even meant to know what your salary should be? Was the bar amount published anywhere so they think you should have known that the increases were taking you above the top rate?

lizzywig Fri 29-Jan-16 05:47:52

What is in your contract of employment? I have the same set up,ie an annual increment until you hit the bar plus cost of living. In my company grades 1-5 have these applied at the same time of year (so it appears as if it's one pay rise) and grades 6+ have it applied at different times of the year so two increases. If yours was happening all in one go like the former situation at my employer then I could see that one certainly wouldn't question it. Our contracts do say that you will hit the bar, but there is no mention of cost of living. Our website explains both, but only if you're looking for it. I would suggest checking your contract in case it says anything about your particular situation or even lays out your grade scale.

titchy Fri 29-Jan-16 09:23:10

Post in legal rather than money matters. You'll get better advice there.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now