Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How much do you owe them now?
Do you still work for them?
ok let me get my response ready please
no it will be on here shortly
If someone has genuinely been overpaid by their employer, then that is not money to which they are legally entitled and it should be repaid.
However, an employee may be able to use the legal defence of ‘estoppel’ to resist an employer's recovery of an overpayment. One of the main cases dealing with this is that of County Council of Avon v Howlett. The employee was a teacher who was paid more sick pay than he was entitled to. The teacher queried the overpayments with the employer but was assured they were correct. By the time the Council had realised their mistake, the teacher had spent most of that money. The Court of Appeal held that the defence of estoppel prevented the employer from recovering the whole sum of the overpayment.
The way estoppel operates is that if the following conditions are satisfied, then an employee should be able to use it as a defence to resist the recovery of an earlier overpayment:
So whilst there is nothing stopping an employer from pursuing a claim to recover an overpayment, if the above conditions are satisfied then an employee could raise the defence of 'estoppel' and prevent the claim for proceeding any further. However, if that is not possible you will still be liable for the repayments and you will have to try and agree something with the employer or face the claim and then rely on the court to decide how much and how often to pay.
the last requirement is traditionally the hardest to prove and it is where most people would fail in their attempts to prevent the overpayments. So the likelihood is that you probably will be liable and it is about trying to agree on some sort of a repayment plan with the employer...£15 monthly is unlikely to be accepted but something a bit more realistic may be considered by them
you are welcome