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Thread: Service award paid bt ex-employer

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  1. #1
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    Default Service award paid bt ex-employer

    Hiya

    I've been paid a sum of money before Christmas which came with a payslip statng it was a long service award payment.
    I was in receipt of this benefit according to my old contract, but stopped working there in September.

    I saw no reason to dispute this payment, in fact, I was quite chuffed to revcevie it, thinking, wow, seeing as I'd completed nearly a whole year, they paid me the LSA

    Anyway, recorded delivery letter a few weeks later, , they want it back, paid in error etc. and they want it back now.

    What are my obligations re paying it back? Do I have to pay in a lump sum or can I offer them installements?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Service award paid bt ex-employer

    It is very likely that they are entitled to be repaid. If it was an amount of money which you weren't entitled to, and have spent the money between receiving it and realising the error ( ie the business writing to you) you should be able to repay it in installments so that it does not cause you hardship. Did they give you options in their letter explaining their c*ck up ?

    How far off the year where you would have been entitled to the payment were you when you left ? and how long had you worked there prior?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Service award paid bt ex-employer

    18 years worked, 9 months into the year leaving, 3 months off usual pay date of award.

    The letter says 'I will have noticed that a payment was mde in error' and they want the money back by the 20th...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Service award paid bt ex-employer

    As Amethyst implies the money is not yours, and in the UK one cannot profit by anothers mistake, and it could be classed as unjust enrichment.
    However if in good faith you believed the money was yours and you have "changed your position" (eg by buying an expensive service you would not normally purchase, not an ordinary purchase) you may not have to repay it.

    - - - Updated - - -

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Service award paid bt ex-employer

    I know I have to pay it back, I;m asking if I can offer installments instead of paying a lump sum.
    I was paid roughly 500, can I offer them 100 per month? I think that's fairly reasonable....

    I [urchase a car [for much more] hence wanting to pay installments.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Service award paid bt ex-employer

    Offer less, and be prepared to negotiate upwards!
    They made the mistake, so don't let it unduly affect your life!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Service award paid bt ex-employer

    I would disagree with Amethyst in the sense that I wouldn't say it is highly likely based on the information you have supplied so far (well depending on your next answers), and I would agree with des in as far as the defence of "change of position".

    A defence of change of position occurs where the person's circumstances have changed for the worse, though there are certain rules in place where you are not able to rely on that position. Things such as using it to pay off debts is one example where such a defence cannot be used. Another example which closely resembles your position is where you purchase goods that have a re-sale value. For example, if you purchase a car that has a re-sale value of more than the money you benefited from, then you cannot rely on the defence. If the car's value has a lower re-sale value then you could rely on it. In effect, if you are put in a worse off position having to repay the money then you have a possible defence.

    You have said in your last post that you purchased a car, is the car taken out on finance? If so, then there is a reasonable argument that your position has changed for the worse in that the money you used to finance the car means that the car you purchased is not unlikely to cover the total amount payable which was advanced to you and therefore leave you in a worse of position.

    Morally, some would say you should repay it back but legally, I don't think it would be as clear cut and if you challenged it, I would be surprised if BT wanted to pursue the matter in court as it's likely to cost them more money doing that than just simply writing it off.

    That being said, it would unreasonable for them to expect you to pay it back in a lump sum and a reasonable repayment plan should be offered if you went down this route, perhaps starting off as low as £50.
    Any posts made by myself are intended as general guidance in relation to your rights and responsibilities, and does not constitute legal advice nor does it create any kind of relationship. No liability can be accepted for any losses, omissions or errors that may arise from your reliance on any advice, information or other matters published on this forum by me. Should you require legal advice, you can do so by using the Law Society's Find A Solicitor or contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Service award paid bt ex-employer

    No, I bought the car outright. I don't have a change of poisition defence, and as I said, I'm quite wiling to pay it back. Just not in a lump sum

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