Policy Human Resources Overpayment of Wages Policy

Overpayment of Wages Policy

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To outline the process to be undertaken in the event that an overpayment has occurred.


This policy applies to all employees who are covered by the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement 2016.


1. Responsibility of employee and the University

From time to time errors result in an overpayment of wages. Both the University and the employee, who has been overpaid, have an equal and shared obligation to correct the overpayment in a timely manner.

It is the preference of the University that all overpayments are repaid in full as soon as identified. The University recognises that is not possible in all situations.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the employee to seek financial advice prior to making any repayment decisions.

2. Authority to deduct

In the event of an overpayment of wages, an employee is required to sign a deduction authority form to permit the University to deduct up to 10% of gross fortnightly salary, or greater amount as requested by the employee, including payment of the total amount of the overpayment.

3. Repayment period

When an overpayment is repaid in full in the same financial year as the overpayment occurs, the amount repaid is equivalent to the net pay (ie the after tax amount).  This is because the University can reclaim the tax paid from the ATO if it occurs in the same financial year.

Where the repayment is not repaid in the same financial year the full gross amount of the overpayment must be repaid (ie the net pay plus tax).  This is because the University cannot claim the tax back where it goes over financial years.

4. Financial Hardship

An employee who may suffer financial hardship in repaying the overpaid monies can request to negotiate another payment plan. Furthermore, an employee can request to negotiate a payment plan to pay out their overpayment in the form of a lump sum payment. Employees will have the opportunity to raise any mitigating circumstances that may impact upon the recovery timeframe of an overpayment of wages.

5. Mitigating circumstances

The Director - Human Resources Management (HRM) can where mitigating circumstances exist determine an appropriate recovery of the overpayment outside of this policy.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

James Cook University Enterprise Agreement 2016

Approval Details

Policy sponsor:

Director, Human Resources Management

Approval authority:

Remuneration & Human Resources Committee

Version no:


Date for next review:


Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date


18-1 25/05/2018Administrative amendment to update link to JCU Enterprise Agreement 2016.Quality, Standards and Policy Officer
17-109/08/201710/08/2017Mid-year review of HR Policies in line with the HR Operational Plan Item, Deliver Policy Reviews; Fitness for Future Purpose.Deputy Director, Human Resources
16-122/12/201622/12/2016Policy review date extended to 31/12/17 on request by Deputy Director HR. Approved by DVC Services and Resources