Former employer asking for money back

Discussion in 'Legal' started by freddyb, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. freddyb

    freddyb UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    Hi all,

    In 2009 my former employer wrote to me confirming my job title was being renamed from "Software Development Manager" to "Software Engineering Manager". Additionally, the letter said I was eligible for a £500/month "cash allowance".

    From that point on, I saw "car allowance: £500" on my payslip.

    I have since changed companies.

    My old employer has now written to me (12 months after moving) stating that I was never eligible for the allowance - that it was a mistake - and that I HAVE to pay back the sum of £2070. They have written to me twice.

    Even if this was their mistake, am I legally required to pay back the money? It was a surprise to me that I was eligible for a car allowance (or cash allowance as it said in the letter) but it was never obvious that it was a mistake.

    I don't mind defending my position in court but I don't want debt collectors knocking on my door looking for money - could this happen?

    Thanks all.

    A nervous ex-employee!
    Posted: Mar 20, 2011 By: freddyb Member since: Mar 20, 2011
    #1
  2. unet

    unet UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 482 Likes: 91
    If you have the " car allowance " or cash allowance agreed and also on payslip etc your good to go. The ex employer has not a leg to stand on. I would not ignore the letter otherwise your ex employer may take this as a sign of weakness and move straight to small claims. I would either write back or get a solicitor to reply in respect of rejecting their claims.

    GL ( although I dont think your need any )
    Rob
    Posted: Mar 20, 2011 By: unet Member since: Dec 14, 2010
    #2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. arcon5

    arcon5 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2,556 Likes: 496
    I think their only recourse would be if they could prove you abused it in anyway or used the money for purposes outside of work related duties.

    They're probably just low on cash.
    Posted: Mar 20, 2011 By: arcon5 Member since: Sep 6, 2006
    #3
  4. freddyb

    freddyb UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    Thanks for the reply, Rob. Much appreciated. I'll send them a copy of the letter they sent me along with a payslip (which fortunately I kept - phew!).
    Posted: Mar 20, 2011 By: freddyb Member since: Mar 20, 2011
    #4
  5. freddyb

    freddyb UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    They've been trying to save on cash wherever possible, requesting people take unpaid leave etc.

    There's a principle here though. They could easily write to every employee saying "your last pay rise was a mistake, we want our money back" - or something similar. I had no idea the car allowance was a mistake until they wrote to me months later asking for it back, by which time I'd plunged it into my mortgage.

    If the letter had said £500 car allowance but the pay slip said £1000 then I'd have realised the mistake, but because it tallied it all seemed above board.
    Posted: Mar 20, 2011 By: freddyb Member since: Mar 20, 2011
    #5
  6. arcon5

    arcon5 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2,556 Likes: 496
    Just keep hold of your payslips stating this and don't worry any further about.
    Send them a letter telling them where to shove their demand. I doubt they will waste money going to court with what looks to be a loosing case.
    Posted: Mar 20, 2011 By: arcon5 Member since: Sep 6, 2006
    #6
  7. Merchant UK

    Merchant UK UKBF Ace Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 2,389 Likes: 584
    If you accepted this extra income in good faith and assumed as stated it was part of your employment then your employer hasn't got a leg to stand on, They certainly can't, especially after you've left, attempt to claw back this extra payment.

    I'd love to see them take it further :D:D

    Don't even bother worrying about it, its almost comical :D
    Posted: Mar 20, 2011 By: Merchant UK Member since: Aug 15, 2010
    #7