Over and Under payments

Payroll Errors


All NSW Health Agencies have a duty to ensure that proper procedures and controls are in place so that employees receive their due entitlements to salaries and wages.

We frequently receive inquiries from members who have been underpaid or who have received letters from HealthShare asserting that they have been overpaid and require repayment.

All ASMOF Awards (Staff Specialists, CMOs, Medical Superintendents & JMOs) have a clause dealing with overpayment and underpayment.

For instance, if a member is underpaid and the underpayment is equal to or greater than one day’s gross salary occurs, the adjustment (repayment) must be made within three working days.

The clause also provides that all claims of overpayment must be substantiated, and the employer must advise the employee of both the circumstances surrounding the overpayment.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for employees to not be provided with the relevant information to determine if the overpayment is correct. And sometimes members have had monies taken from their pay without the appropriate authority.

It is important to note that under the Awards the employer may deduct money to recover an overpayment, but only once they have proved the overpayment occurred.

In addition to the Awards the management of underpayments and overpayments in NSW Health are also dealt with in procedures:

Where an overpayment occurs, Health Agencies and employees have a shared responsibility to correct the overpayment. The purpose of the standard is to outline how overpayments are identified, verified and managed by HAS and HSNSW, and how applications for undue hardship will be assessed. Recovery and payroll processing of overpayments is to strictly follow Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and MOH direction.

The objective of the Standard is to enable the effective and efficient management of overpayments by:

  • Providing a transparent and communicated process for managing overpayments (something that often has not occurred to date);
  • Ensuring that identified overpayments are promptly addressed and repayment commenced immediately;
  • Analysing overpayment data to determine the root cause/s; and
  • Developing an action plan (HAs and HSNSW collaboratively) to minimise the number and causes of overpayments.

The procedures also outline the “undue hardship” process and the initial dispute process. This dispute process does not take away the members' rights to seek assistance from ASMOF if they are of the view that the process, and/or overpayment is in their view not substantiated. ASMOF can then review /audit the process and your pay to ensure that an alleged overpayment has indeed occurred.

ASMOF can make representations on Members’ behalf if they are unable to resolve the matters personally.

Please find below the final versions of:

The Overpayment Standard, including the state-wide overpayment processes, overpayment letters and HealthShare Factsheet.


Recovery of Overpayments Factsheet Recovery of Overpayments Factsheet (83 KB)

Standards for Overpayments Standards for Overpayments (1552 KB)