29 October 2021

Overpayments made to HMCTS Digital Support Officers

PCS is aware of issues regarding additional payments made to Digital Support Officers relating to the changes in the way staff carrying out these roles are paid.    

As part of the MoJ pay deal, payment for carrying out the DSO role was, as an interim measure, changed from 5% TRA to a flat rate allowance of £500.

Due to a payroll error the new £500 allowance has in many cases been backdated to cover the first year of the new pay award (2020 to 2021). This is incorrect because staff would already have been paid 5% TRA for this period and would not have been eligible to receive both payments for the same period.

Anyone carrying out the DSO role should have received TRA payments of 5% (of their annual salary) up until 1 October 2021, after this date payment is on the basis of a £500 per year allowance.

PCS raised the overpayments issues with the MoJ as a matter of urgency and received the following response;

"The HMCTS reward team have emailed all DSOs via the official DSO distribution list on 29th September to inform them of the TRA overpayment as well as the incorrect backdating of the new allowance, prior to them receiving the payment. The HMCTS reward team also sent a further note out last Friday to confirm the position with deductions in relation to the overpayment as they received a lot of questions about this. SSCL will be managing the overpayments and individuals can appeal the timescales in the normal way directly with SSCL"

Unfortunately when an overpayment is made to members of staff the department is entitled to claim the money back, even in cases where the error is not the fault of the employee.

However, staff should receive sufficient details of how the amount being claimed has occurred, enabling them to check that the amount of overpayment being claimed is correct. In addition you can request that any repayments be made in affordable instalments over a reasonable timescale; this has also been referred to in the above response from the MoJ.

If you have any issues with these overpayments please contact laurab@pcs.org.uk and billy.beirne@googlemail.com