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Employee keeps £20,000 overpay

PUBLISHED: 11:02 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:50 25 August 2010

A WOMAN who took on the might of Barclays bank has won her right to keep £20,000 in overpayments. Natasha Keenan, 36, of Forest Road, Erith was allowed to hold onto the cash after Barclays paid her almost double her salary over two years. Mrs Keenan is

A WOMAN who took on the might of Barclays bank has won her right to keep £20,000 in overpayments.

Natasha Keenan, 36, of Forest Road, Erith was allowed to hold onto the cash after Barclays paid her almost double her salary over two years.

Mrs Keenan is pregnant and lives with husband Brent, 31, children Leo, four, and 14-month-old Sunny, and had used her pay slips to apply for a mortgage on the family home.

A part-time complaints adviser for Barclays, she told the tribunal in Ashford in April she had not realised she was wrongly being paid £17,000 a year instead of £9,500 and had spent the extra money.

When the bank discovered the administrative error, it demanded she hand back around £20,000. Mrs Keenan told the court that she originally earned £9,500 a year working for the Woolwich building society, but when it was taken over by Barclays three years ago she was assured she would receive a "significant" pay rise.

When she received a new contract stating she would be paid £17,000 a year, she assumed the increase was the pay rise she had been promised.

Barclays claimed the amount stated was for full-time employment and says she should have been paid on a pro-rata basis. Judge Martin Kurrein ruled that Mrs Keenan was an honest woman who was unaware of her bosses' mistake and said: "I am confident that if Mrs Keenan had known that Barclays had made a mistake she would have informed them of that."

A Barclays spokesman said Mrs Keenan remained a "valued employee.

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