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Where an employer has made an accidental overpayment of wages, the statutory position is that the employer can recover this by deducting the overpayment from future wages or salary. This is covered by s.14 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. In your case, if you wait 6 years and just deposit the money in a bank account, the employer will lose the right to sue for a refund after that time. But this is a catch 22 situation because if you spend the money now or even after the six years, it is a crime. So, the best recourse is to work out a settlement in writing with the employer either now or after the 6 years.
Yes, they have to make those adjustments for you if you report it now.
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