Skip navigation

Procedure: Overpayments


To outline the University's procedures relating to overpayments, including responsibility and recovery.



  1. The University, as a Commonwealth statutory authority, is publicly accountable for all its funds. Accordingly, it is formally recognised that all monies must be managed effectively and efficiently in accordance with governance frameworks.
  2. The Chief People Officer will take responsibility for salary overpayment administration for existing staff, whereas the Chief Financial Officer will take responsibility for recovery of salary overpayment debts for former staff. Debts for former staff will be transferred to the Chief Financial Officer upon 90 days of non-repayment, and the formal debt recovery process will commence.
  3. An overpayment occurs where a staff member has been provided with payment and/or monetary entitlements to which the staff member was not entitled, including salary, leave, travel payment and/or other amounts as payable under the ANU Enterprise Agreement.
  4. Staff will repay any overpayments in accordance with this procedure.


  1. The University recognises that overpayments will occur from time to time, and requests that budget unit delegates, cost centre administrators and relevant staff be responsible for managing financial and related resources, including monitoring all salary matters.
  2. The University has produced an automated Employee Variation Payroll Costing report, delivered via email directly to budget unit delegate two days prior to pay run.
  3. Budget unit delegates are responsible for thoroughly checking the PCA report on the Tuesday prior to pay day and advising their designated HR team of any discrepancies prior to 10am on Wednesday, one day before pay day.

Overpayment recovery – applications for change of hours or unpaid leave in HORUS

  1. To avoid potential overpayment of salary, staff members who wish to apply for change of hours or unpaid leave must have these requests submitted and approved at least one pay period before the pay cycle for which the change is intended to take effect..
  2. When submitting an online request for change of hours or unpaid leave in HORUS, staff members must acknowledge and agree that any resulting overpayment will be automatically deducted from their next pay.
  3. If faced with financial hardship, A staff member may make an application for a payment plan by contacting Remuneration and Conditions at

Overpayment recovery – upon cessation of employment

  1. Outstanding salary overpayments may be recovered from any salary and accrued leave payments normally paid out upon resignation, retirement or separation from the University, following written agreement from the staff member.
  2. Where salary and accrued leave credits are insufficient to discharge any salary overpayment, the remaining amount will become immediately payable. The University reserves the right to refer this matter to Financial and Business Services Division or its agents for debt recovery action. In these cases, the University may include costs for debt recovery.

Overpayment recovery – all other instances

  1. If a staff member is overpaid, it is imperative that the designated HR team are immediately notified, irrespective of the amount involved. The College/Divisional HR Team will notify the staff member of the overpayment and provide written details of the overpayment and option available for repayment. Recovery action is as detailed below.
  2. It is acknowledged that in some circumstances a staff member may not realise that they have been overpaid, therefore declaration and recovery are intended to be undertaken in a no blame manner.
  3. Where salary overpayments are discovered or notified after the staff member has received the payment, recovery will occur as follows:
  1. The staff member will be notified, in writing, of the details of the overpayment, and the options available for repayment. A copy will be placed on the staff member’s personnel file.
  2. Where possible, the staff member settles the amount in the next pay, in full, however, by reason of hardship or scale of the overpayment, the University will consider a repayment schedule to assist the staff member.
  3. The University will not recover the overpayment without written authorisation from the staff member.
  1. In the case of clause 15 (a) and (b) above, salary repayment will be the net overpayment amount, provided the full amount is repaid by the end of the current financial year. Recovery will be the gross salary amount if the repayments continue into a new financial year (i.e. where recovery action falls over two tax years).
  2. If the overpayment is repaid in a different financial year, upon repayment of the full amount, the staff member’s gross and tax earnings will be adjusted with the Australian Taxation Office, and a tax refund may be provided (dependent on the staff member’s tax lodgement).
  3. Where a salary overpayment has occurred over an extended period of time, action may be taken to recover the debt commensurate with a period that saw the debt accumulate as agreed with the staff member and is reasonable.
  4. Where overpayments are paid by the staff member in instalments, this may be considered a loan by the University potentially have a fringe benefit tax liability, borne by the staff member. The size of the debt and the instalment recovery period will determine whether FBT is payable.


  1. Where the staff member seeks to review the amount of the overpayment or recovery arrangements, discussions occur between the Division of Shared Services and the staff member. Staff are able to involve a union or staff representative in these discussions.


  1. Where a salary overpayment occurs of over $10,000 gross, the Chief People Officer will notify the Vice-Chancellor and President within one month of receiving notification of the overpayment.


  1. Liability for overpayments will be borne centrally, unless there has been an unsuccessful collaborative attempt to recover overpayments. Where this has occurred, the Chief Financial Officer may consider transferring the debt to the budget unit area.
  2. In exceptional circumstances, a request to write off a debt may be made to the Chief People Officer and considered by the Chief Financial Officer. In the event that any salary overpayments are written off with University delegations, Fringe Benefit Tax may apply and will be borne by the budget unit or cost centre.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Overpayments
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000599
Purpose To outline the University's procedures relating to over payment including responsibility and recovery.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff
Effective Date 10 May 2024
Next Review Date 1 May 2029
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Delegations 176

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.

Related Content

Remuneration and conditions