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Docking maternity pay

Docking maternity pay

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Hello HRZone people, long time no speak... this is my first HR question for ages....

Hypothetically, if an employee were to have been significantly overpaid over several months due to an employer oversight... but didn't notice. Said employee, who was unable to immediately repay the money, agreed to a timetable of regular, manageable repayments based on a deduction of monthly salary.

Not a problem, right?

However, now the employee is about to go on maternity leave and take statutory pay... Now, the question is about this... I would be surprised if the employer were able to continue with the monthly docking... what with the pay being statutory and all that... but where does the employer stand legally, and where, probably more importantly in this hypothetical case, does the employee stand?

I look forward to the benefit of your HR wisdom.

Thank you

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By peterstanway
24th Jan 2012 18:05

Strictly speaking it cannot/should not be done.I once came a cross a thief who was repying the ill-gotten gains but reneged successfully during maternity.

 

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By Joanne Jeffery
24th Feb 2012 11:29

It would probably depend on what your original 'payment plan' states and what was agreed upon.  Although the employer can't deduct monies from SMP that does not mean that the employee is unable to make payments by another method during their maternity leave e.g. by cash or chq.

However, given that the error was on the employers part, perhaps they would agree to postpone the final payments until the employee returns to work post maternity leave.

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