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PCT asked not to claw back wage overpayment

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Staff at a primary care trust who were overpaid for up to four years have been asked to pay the money back.

NHS Sefton has contacted 350 staff incorrectly paid for working unsocial hours from 2006-10. Staff are to be given up to three years to pay back the money, which totals £160,000 and varies between £20 and £4,500 per individual.

The PCT said that those being asked to make repayments were all current staff. It will investigate to see whether any former staff were overpaid.

However, Unison regional organiser Paul Summers said many low paid staff would struggle with the “double whammy” of reduced wages from the public sector squeeze and having to pay back £50 or £100 a month.

He said: “We want NHS Sefton to look at the big picture and waive these repayments.

“The law allows them to reclaim the payments but this is at the employers’ discretion.”

NHS Sefton deputy chief executive Marie Rice said the PCT was legally obliged to get the money back.

She said: “We have spoken to all staff affected by this, and we are working closely with their regional union representatives to find a solution that will have the least impact upon them.”

The overpayments were discovered when the PCT changed payroll provider and an audit was carried out. Staff affected include nurses and healthcare assistants.

In 2007, NHS Birmingham East and North told 331 staff it would not seek repayment of an average £600 they were each overpaid due to a payroll error.

  • 3 Comments

Readers' comments (3)

  • I imagine that the staff were genuinely unaware that they were being overpaid and any pay back should be waived.

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  • i agree, This is a systemic error.
    if we can let big bosses write up big cheques(tax free) e.g voluntary resignations, mnager bonuses etc
    why should these under paid and over worked be asked to payback!!!!!!!!!!

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  • If any repament of overpayments is to be made, it should be the previous payroll provider, which made the errors who repays it. It is outrageous that staff who had no idea that they were overpaid should pay for the mistakes of an outsourced company. The audit has shown the previous payroll provider to be sloppy, so let them pay for their mistakes. Morale is poor enough already within the NHS without attacking the hard worked and often low-paid staff!

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