6.3.3.L5 / 13.10.10.L6

Extent: Jersey
November 2000
Updated 5 August 2019

Words you may need to know

Overpayments - if you receive money in error

Deduction – something that is taken off e.g. here, money from wages

Error - a mistake

Negotiate - an attempt to come to an agreement on something through discussion and compromise


Overpayments to a bank account

If money is put into your bank account by mistake, the bank or building society is usually entitled to recover the money within a reasonable time. If you do not realise that the mistake has been made and have used the money in a way you would normally (that is, you have acted believing the money was yours), the bank or building society may not be able to claim the money back. This can be a contentious area of the law however, and you may need to seek further advice from a lawyer about your case.

If the bank or building society does have the right to recover the money, you should negotiate for small repayments over a period of time.

Overpayment of wages or expenses

Where an employer has overpaid you, the employer may want to recover the overpayment by making deductions from your wages. Try and agree that the deductions are made over a period of time so that it does not cause you financial difficulty.

If your employer makes deduction(s) without your agreement, the employer will be in breach of the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003. This is because they will not have paid you the agreed wage for the relevant period because they have taken the deduction from your wage. Because you have not agreed the deduction it will be an unlawful deduction from your salary.

You could use the fact that there may be a breach of the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003 to negotiate with the employer the possibility of you repaying the overpayment in regular amounts that you can afford. The Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service (JACS) may be able to assist with negotiations.