When an employee’s pay cheque arrives at the end of the week or month, they will be able to spend this money on whatever this wish – whether this is used to cover rent, pay bills, treat themselves or kids or to put towards luxury holidays.
Ensuring that staff members are paid correctly in the first place is crucial to avoid any issues for both the employer and the employee.
One online forum recently stated that a worker has reportedly been sent a £20,000 bill from her boss after the firm said that an error had been made in 2009, of which she has continued to be overpaid. The company had alleged the error was made when she went on maternity leave in 2009 and has since been overpaid £250 per month for every month since she returned to work in 2010.
The error is said to have been a result of the worker requesting to change from full time to term time.
This story highlights the importance of strong payroll systems in the workplace to avoid any errors of a similar nature from occurring. It would be prudent of course for the employer to discuss this matter with the employee to see if an agreement can be reached as to the way forward. This might involve discussing a possible schedule for repayment but that minimises the effect on the employee.
According to general guidance published on ACAS, an employer can deduct money from an employee’s pay for the following reasons:
· The employment contract specifically allows it
· It’s been agreed in writing beforehand
· You’ve overpaid them by mistake
· It’s required by law – for example Income Tax or a court order
· They missed work to be on strike or take industrial action.
Ensure you are clear on what deductions you can make!