What a mess

Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
Well, I didn't manage to stay away too long before the proverbial hit the fan - it had all been going too well.

Mum finished work in January - technically under early retirement but really because she'd be fired if she didn't.

Anyway, we've just had a letter stating they've kept on paying her slaary up until June (their mistake) and now they want over £4,000 of us to pay it back!

The argument is that although it's there mess up, she should have known she wasn't entitled to it and so she has to pay it back.

Dad doesn't know what to do and I'm dealing with it because I work for the government as well (mum used to). It's just frustrating to have to argue this out now when we've enough on out plates - they knew her condition when she finished and it's their balls up (excuse me!). We're held up at the moment getting the POA registered so I don't know if the money is even sat there - probably not as financial recklessness is part of her condition (I'm sure they won't believe that) and dad only restricted access to her accounts in the last couple of months.

It's nothing major but it's just extra hassle you know?

On the plus side we've had a visit from a CPN - she just did a quick memory test and left but I guess it's a start.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
+Dear Kate.
was your mother a member of a Union? If so contact them immediately.
I took early retirement on grounds of ill health and was allowed 6 months on full pay, prior to retiring. Admittedly part of this was paid as sick pay and my employers paid the rest.
If your mother was not advised to take sick leave the union should be able to help her.
Please let me know.
Love xx


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Oh Kate you poor thing (and your poor father as well).

It's depressing that 'government" doesn't keep a better handle on its money - if a private firm paid their employees for 6 months post employment they'd be out of business. You might want to get legal advice about whether it has to be paid back. I know that if there's a bank error in your favour you don't get to keep the money (there was a court case about this this week), but I don't know whether what happen to your mother 1) falls under the same category and 2)whether there has to be any intent on her part to defraud. I mean they obviously wouldn't have a leg to stand on with regard to a criminal claim, but a civil claim has a different level of proof. I suppose it comes under the same category as paying benefits to a claimant who isn't entitled to them, but has no idea that they aren't entitled to them.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Dear Kate

I'm sure this is the last thing you need at the moment. Just when you think things are going smoothly, something else jumps up and bites you.

I'm sure Sylvia's right, the union should fight this for you. As far as I'm aware, in all government/civil services posts, you're allowed six months on full pay and six months on half pay before having to leave.

I hope you can get it sorted.



Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
Hi Kate

Try looking up 'estoppel' - PCS have something about it.

"Where an employer overpays an employee by mistake the courts will normally bar recovery if the ........., not reasonably expect her to notice overpayment, that the employee has spent the money in good faith and the overpayment was not caused primarily by the fault of the employee".

If they knew that your mum was ill and had memory problems, then surely they couldn't expect her to notice the overpayment especially when it wasn't her fault.

I would contact the Citizens Advice Bureau - they may be able to advise.