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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been over paid 3 weeks on the run what would happen

Customer Question

I have been over paid 3 weeks on the run what would happen if don't say anything and it continues to happen
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Is this by your employer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is Ben and my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. 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:
• 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

I am not sure your circumstances would qualify though - you know you are being overpaid and you know you are not entitled to it. You need to query this with the employer. If you do not and in the future they discover the overpayments were made they have the legal right to deduct these from your pay to recover what is owed to them. If you have left and you still owe them money they can also take you to court if necessary.

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:


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