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Can my employer make me give back overpaid wages?

By law, your employer is only entitled to make certain deductions from your pay. They can deduct tax and national insurance (NI) and they can also make other deductions for which they have previously got your written consent or which are allowed in your contract of employment.

However, if there has been a genuine overpayment of your wages, your employer doesn't need your consent to recover this. They can make a deduction from your wages without your agreement. There are some exceptions to this rule and there are special rules about deductions made from shop-worker's pay.

For more information about deductions from wages, including the rules about shop workers pay, see Rights to pay. For more information in England, Wales and Scotland, see also Employer withholds your pay in Employment fact sheets.

If you have had a deduction made from your pay which you do not agree with, for example, one to recover an overpayment of wages, you should seek advice from an experienced adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click on nearest CAB.

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