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Microsoft U-turns on overpaid redundo packages

Bad hair day for HR team

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Microsoft has reversed its decision to ask some of the 1,400 people it sacked last month to return part of their redundancy packages.

The move comes just 48 hours after a letter the firm had sent out to some of its former workers was published on the interwebs.

The vendor had asked some ex-Microsoft staff on 18 February to return a wad of severance pay after it admitted the firm had made an embarrassing accounting blunder by overpaying 25 people and underpaying about 20 others.

But Microsoft no longer wants the money back because “it didn’t make sense for us to continue on the path we were on,” its human resources boss, Lisa Brummel, told CNET yesterday.

Brummel said that those given too much cash received around $4,000 or $5,000 in extra pay. She was also in the process of contacting everyone in person to tell them they can keep the overpayment after all.

The firm said it was also sending out cheques to those ex-staffers who had been underpaid.

So the whole affair has ended up costing a red-faced Redmond about $125,000, and a small snowstorm of bad publicity of course. ®

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