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...to keep the extra money?

(199 Posts)
sallydecker Fri 30-Oct-09 13:55:06

Am a regular but namechanged...

This is the classic moral dilemma, and I fully expect to be flamed, but here goes <deep breath>

I returned to work in September on 0.6 basis after a year's maternity leave; most of which was on SMP only, so finances are still up the shitter.

I received a pay rise in Sept- this was due to be credited to my October pay packet; However, I just checked and I think they have paid me a full time wage+pay rise, as they have paid me at least a grand too much (by my reckoning).

Let's be clear- I desperately need this money; have so many bills, overdraft etc. to pay off and things are incredibly tight- DP was made redundant 3 times this year, and has now taken a job with a much lower salary. But does any of this matter?

Should I ring payroll and tell them they made a mistake?

Or should I keep the money, pay everything off and buy some things we need?

Hit me- AIBU to keep the money?

akhems Fri 30-Oct-09 13:56:42

I think once they discover the mistake - even if it's months down the line they can make you pay it back.

LovelyDear Fri 30-Oct-09 13:57:09

whatever you decide, they might well notice and ask for it back, so you should at least keep it accessible and not spend it all.

LilRedWG Fri 30-Oct-09 13:57:27

I'm sorry. You should ring payroll and tell them.

sallydecker Fri 30-Oct-09 13:57:55

I am (possibly) prepared to take that risk though akhems, as I need the money now...

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Fri 30-Oct-09 13:58:33

I would be tempted to keep the money BUT i would be worried about the potential comeback if payroll ever found out! If you spend the money and then they ask for the money back what would you do then?

LilRedWG Fri 30-Oct-09 13:58:35

Loads of us were overpaid at work once due to a glitch with the payroll. Those of us who owned up were allowed to keep the moeny and everyone else had to pay it back.

sallydecker Fri 30-Oct-09 13:58:59

Gah.

Everyone's going to say I should ring payroll, aren't they?

FiveGoMadonTheDanceFloor Fri 30-Oct-09 13:59:09

If you have noticed then no don't do it, if the company realise what you have done then they have very good reason to scak you and charge you for theft.

hf128219 Fri 30-Oct-09 13:59:16

I would wait until they realise their mistake. But make sure you will be able to pay it back.

cakeywakey Fri 30-Oct-09 13:59:39

I agree with akhems, they will be perfectly within their rights to ask or any overpaid money back. And where will you find it from then?

It's also worth flagging it up with them because you may actually be entitled to it - so then can keep it and not stress over it.

Give them a call. The fact that you're even asking means that you know that you should smile

yelpol Fri 30-Oct-09 14:01:19

i'm not sure if they can ask for it all back at once. this happened to me once, i assumed it was a bonus! a few months later i was notified they'd made a mistake and asked how i would like to pay it back. i think they took it off in instalments over the next 4 or so paychecks. so, if you really the money, i would use it and look on it as a blessing when you really need it, but be prepared to pay it back.

cyanarasamba Fri 30-Oct-09 14:01:23

It is entirely possible that it's not a mistake and it's some holiday pay owing from your maternity leave. Or even more likely, you are paying less tax than usual in your first month back to account for the fact that you didn't work for the first part of the year.

Ring them and query it. You may be pleasantly suprised.

OtterInaSkoda Fri 30-Oct-09 14:02:45

Depends on your employer (assuming they're large-ish and this isn't some tiny firm that'll suffer hardship, iyswim). Has this happened before to anyone - and what happened then? What are their recovery policies?
I wouldn't hold it against you at all if you used the money to get out of a tight spot, suddenly discovered the error and then informed payroll but explained that you really can't pay it all back in one go and you'd accidentally spent the overpayment.
But you need to be sure that they'd agree to small-ish repayments otherwise you'll be stuffed later on.

sallydecker Fri 30-Oct-09 14:04:06

Damn me for using MN as a moral compass.

Although I think hf128219's idea has some mileage...

So all of you would point out the mistake?

Really?

<clutches at straws>

RainRainGoAway Fri 30-Oct-09 14:04:25

I had this happen to me for a substantial sum by my place of work from 3 years back. I put it in premium bonds and dont even look at it or consider it mine until 7 years are up!

After 3 years they have still not asked for it back... only 4 years to go.

hf128219 Fri 30-Oct-09 14:06:03

It's their mistake - not yours - and it's not theft.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 30-Oct-09 14:07:17

An employer can deduct wage overpayments from future salaries and dont have to agree to a payment plan.

You need to do the correct thing and tell them.

If they discover the error before you report it and its an obvious error they will wonder if you ever intended to report it or simply planned to keep the money. A dishonest employee is not the best employee to have.

Just call them, it may be owed pay or they may say they claw back x amount per month. At worse they will just take back the overpayment which wont leave you worse off as the money wasnt yours or due anyway.

scottishmummy Fri 30-Oct-09 14:11:41

they can legitimately deduct overpayment at source.so if they notice they will deduct from salary

for goodwill, and if you plan staying for while i would fess up

scottishmummy Fri 30-Oct-09 14:16:45

if underpaid you wouldn't say or do nowt and think mistakes happen

sallydecker Fri 30-Oct-09 14:17:08

Right, have to go out for a bit. Will try not to spend £1000.

I think I can guess already what the consensus will be...

ImSoNotTelling Fri 30-Oct-09 14:18:28

Hold on wait...

There was a woman who was getting paid the worng amount, FT instead of PT after a pay rise, and after a few years they realised and asked her for it back. She took them to court saying it was unfair as she had no idea etc and she won.

Will try to find link. It was a bank IIRC...

hf128219 Fri 30-Oct-09 14:19:20

Is it a big company? Are they cash rich? There are lots of other thngs to throw into the equation.

independiente Fri 30-Oct-09 14:19:25

I don't blame you at all for feeling the urge to keep the money. But, cheesy though it sounds, knowing that you are an honest person is worth more than that. On a practical level, a grand is not an amount you could pass off as an oversight on your part - so they will know you were dishonest. (Sigh). You have to do the right thing...

eyetunes Fri 30-Oct-09 14:20:01

put it by and wait to see what happens. If you get the part time for the next month, then say nought. If you get paid full rate again, it is a matter of time before it catches up with you and then you will have to explain yourself.

The first time could be (as far as you are aware) the adjustment for being on mat leave, tax back etc.

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