Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
, 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?
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
ok thanks let me get my response ready please
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:
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
You are welcome