My manager is responsible for negotiating work contracts and organises payment of wages. A couple of years ago I renegotiated my working hours with her. We came to an agreement that I would get the hours I wanted and that she would pay me for one extra hour (that I wasn't working) each week. That way I would owe my workplace 52 hours work a year, and I could come and occasionally do cover if there were illnesses/overlapping annual leave.
Recently I have had to do a little more cover than usual. Whenever my manager asks me to work an extra shift, after checking my schedule and confirming, I always say the same thing to her "remember not to pay me!" This is because once or twice she has paid me overtime on my wage slip.
Today I received my wage slip and realised that I have been paid for a full day's worth of overtime. As I haven't worked off the 52 hours (my year runs from August to August) I should not be getting paid for any overtime. This isn't a lot of money, but I am concerned that the pattern may continue, and then it potentially will be a lot of money. I spoke to my manager about it today, she was very dismissive and in effect said "it's fine, you've been working a lot lately."
Can I keep the money given that 1. I asked not to be paid 2. I verbally pointed out the 'error' to my manager?
I am worried because my manager was involved in an incident last year where she paid an ex-colleague 6 months of wages in error. The colleague had been on longterm sick-leave, but after the legal time to keep paying her had expired my manager continued to pay her. The bosses noticed this in a later audit and wanted the colleague to pay back the full sum. The manager ended up paying the sum back out of her own pocket because she felt guilty about the situation. I don't know if this previous occasion had been accidental, due to negligence, or if she had been hoping no-one would notice as she wanted to help my colleague out. Certainly in my case it is deliberate and it could possibly be a way of making me feel more in debt so that I work even more hours than the 52 agreed.
I do not want to be in a situation where I have to pay anything back. I could go direct to the bosses, but they already have a dim view of my manager and seem to be looking for ways to get her to resign, and I don't want to cause her any trouble. As I said, we're not talking about a lot of money at the moment, but I would like to know how I should proceed. Any advice?
I do actually work the 52 hours overtime each year. There is no formal timesheet, and at least one (if not both) of my bosses is aware of the arrangement, though not the fact that she has paid me 'twice.'