West Dunbartonshire Council in Scotland was left red-faced last week after a blunder meant a number of payouts agreed in an equal pay deal went to the wrong person.
The error meant some employees who were expecting up to £9,000 were left thousands short, and others who were not entitled to the cash received a windfall.
One worker told the local newspaper: “All hell has broken loose. It is an absolute shambles, but each department is blaming the other and no-one will take responsibility.
“I know one woman whose money was thousands short. We want to know when this is going to be sorted out. We’ve heard the council has already taken the money back from some of the bank accounts of people who shouldn’t have received it.”
More than 1,000 current and former employees were entitled to equal pay compensation under the government’s single-status initiative, and the money was deposited in bank accounts last week.
It was only following irate calls from staff that managers realised mistakes had been made. The authority now has to try and retrieve the cash it paid in error.
The equal pay claims were dealt with by the authority’s HR department, but it is believed the payouts were administered by the finance department.
A spokesman for the council said: “Unfortunately, when making more than 1,000 compensation payments, a small number were sent to staff who had not yet signed an agreement.
“Letters of apology have been sent out to all staff involved. Arrangements are in hand and the council hopes to complete all payments by the end of this week.”