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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44869
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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There.My name is***** wife works stairlifts

Customer Question

Hi there.My name is***** wife works for Stannah stairlifts for long period. Before she had maternity she was on £ 25.000 a year. When she comes back she started work part time job there because of our son. She spent there about 30 hours a week and get £ 1.200-£1.300 a month. But her new manager find out that she get too much money for her hours. Now she need to pay £5.000 back and we have strong feeling that her new manager was systematically wait until Christmas to ask her for such a big sum of money. We didn't realise she get more money then she deserved because she worked overtimes as well. We are looking for legal advice because her behaviour is unacceptable.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.can you tell me has her HR department been in touch about repayment options to be deducted from her monthly pay please.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No nobody from HR contact her yet about repayment. Her manager has a meeting with my wife and someone from work today.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience delays.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
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. 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 for proceeding any further.
I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

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