Janet Hannaford
Welfare Officer

I have received correspondence from the Recoveries Officer, Employee Services informing me that I have an overpayment. Why do I have to repay a salary overpayment as I believe it is the employer’s error?

As a Crown Employee you are required to repay the overpayment as it is not your money and needs to be returned to the employer, that is, the NSW Government.

You will be notified in writing of the overpayment by the department. The options to repay the overpayment are:

  • voluntary repayment in a lump sum, or
  • voluntary repayment (of at least 3 per cent gross fortnightly income) over a period by fortnightly deductions from salary of an elected amount, or
  • voluntary repayments (of at least 3 per cent gross fortnightly income) over a period by fortnightly direct debit payments from your bank/credit union.

It should be noted that a deduction of less than 3 per cent of gross fortnightly salary will be accepted only in cases of demonstrated extreme hardship.

You should ask the department for a reconciliation of the debt, in case an error has been made, for you consider and to compare with your payslips.

Repayment of an overpayment cannot be avoided as the employer will and has taken legal action against employees. This may lead to the employee having to pay his/her as well as the employer’s legal costs.

Many salary overpayments can be avoided by always promptly applying for leave (either online or paper application) and promptly submitting all medical certificates. Teachers should also regularly check their pay advice.

For more information, refer to the Teachers Handbook 10.1.4 and 10.1.5.

Enquiries about your own salary and leave entitlements should be directed to Employee Services: Newcastle 1300 338 001, employee.services.newcastle@det.nsw.edu.au or Wollongong 1300 338 002, employee.services.wollongong@det.nsw.edu.au.

This is general information. Contact Communications/Welfare on 1300 654 367 if you require specific information relating to your own personal circumstances.