Supermarket employee paid £1.4 million by mistake

A supermarket worker who was mistakenly paid an extra £1.4 million by his employer did not assume it was a generous Christmas bonus.

Instead of rushing out to book a first class ticket to Mexico, the honest Stephen Foster contacted the Co-operative supermarket to arrange for the money to be repaid.

Gateshead-based Foster was rewarded for his honesty with a crate of Budweiser, which on its own would bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘small beer’. However, the Co-operative also confirmed that Foster was also given £1,000 as a special thank you.

Foster said: “It was amazing to be a millionaire, even for a short time. I did what anyone should do in the circumstances and the attention this story has received has been quite unexpected.”

It was reported that Foster’s girlfriend spotted the error when she looked at his monthly payslip. She saw that he had been paid an extra £1.4 million, meaning that an extra £800,000, after deductions, had been paid into his account.

A Co-operative Group spokesman said: “These were clearly exceptional circumstances and Stephen showed exceptional behaviour. We have given careful thought to how we can reward his honesty and we hope that the £1,000 gift will put the cherry on his Christmas cake. His swift action and honesty in letting us know about the mistake are typical of him and we wish him and his family a merry Christmas.”

For more articles on pay and bonuses