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The University of Southampton
Human Resources



The University makes every effort to ensure staff are paid correctly. However with a large workforce and a complex system of payments, occasionally errors do occur and it is the responsibility of whoever finds the error to raise this appropriately.  Errors may be identified by the manager, budget holder, HR or payroll department, or the employee through their pay slip.

Where an employee is overpaid the principles and procedures set out below will be applied to ensure:

University Policy

The University has systems and processes in place to ensure accurate management of employee records, however mistakes can still occur.  In the event that an employee is overpaid the University’s policy is to seek recovery in full regardless of how the overpayment occurred.  All employees have a responsibility to alert HR to any overpayments at their earliest opportunity. In the event an employee suspects that they have mistakenly received an overpayment, they should notify Ask HR who will initiate the University's overpayment recovery procedure.

Legal position

Section 14(1) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 allows employers to recover overpayments from employees by making deductions from wages without requiring the employee’s consent.


The University's overpayment policy and procedures apply only to payments made in error.  Legitimate payments which later become repayable (for example: contractual maternity pay, relocation allowances, visa reimbursement etc.) are not in scope and the processes outlined in the applicable policies should be followed.  If these policies are unclear please seek advice from Ask HR.


The following principles will inform the University’s approach to recovering an overpayment:

Recovery Procedure

The University's Overpayment Recovery Procedure explains the steps that HR follow when an overpayment has been identified.

Queries about overpayments

Contact Ask HR if you suspect you have been overpaid or if you have any queries about the recovery procedure.

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