How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45376
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

, I handed in my notice to my employer with a leaving

Resolved Question:

, I handed in my notice to my employer with a leaving date of 13th Oct 2014. On the 10th oct, (pay day) I was paid a full months salary not a pro rata payment. My contract states that all overpayments have to be repaid, feel put out by this as I gave them enough notice period, it was there mistake. Also on reading contract I find that they state that after 12 weeks probationary period my employment would be confirmed, this never happened at the time, does this give me any grounds not to pay as they did not keep to the contract. Was employed by them . 18mths and I resigned.
Also do not have the full amount to repay if I had to, can I offer them a one off payment of a lesser amount or monthly instalment.
Now will probably end up paying something, but it does rile me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones :

, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you know at the time that you were being overpaid?

Customer:

no, not until they contacted me in nov requesting repayment, at that point told them there figures where wrong which they agreed to and said they would come back with final figure which they have done yesterday

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

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. Sadly the issue with the probation will not have any impact on this so you cannot rely on it in the circumstances.

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:



  • The overpayments were made due to an error by the employer

  • The employee genuinely believed they were entitled to the money, or did not even realise that they were being overpaid

  • The employee has since 'changed their position', meaning they have spent the money in question. However, this does not mean just spending it on usual items of expenditure, such as bills, everyday spending, etc – you must have gone out of your way and changed your position, such as making additional purchases which you would not have done had you not received that money.


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 any further.

In terms of dealing with this, you will only be forced to repay this if the employer takes you to court and wins. They may decide not to go that far and even if they do then you could try and use estoppel as a defence. So you could try and negotiate with them repayment amount that suits you, reminding them they have to go to court, which will cost money and take time and therefore it would be in the interest of both parties to agree to something that avoids all that.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

Yes thanks

Ben Jones :

You are welcome

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45376
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ben Jones

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10492
    Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10492
    Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    41
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Laywer

    Satisfied Customers:

    49
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/taratill/2010-03-09_111600_phpsik04M_c2AM.jpg taratill's Avatar

    taratill

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    671
    15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LI/li/2014-12-19_134845_lexughes.64x64.jpg Alice H's Avatar

    Alice H

    Solicitor Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    99
    Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
  • /img/opt/shirt.png tdlawyer's Avatar

    tdlawyer

    Laywer

    Satisfied Customers:

    53
    Lawyer with 9 years experience in employment related issues.
 
 
 

Related Employment Law Questions