Swiss town workers receive huge pay surprise


(MENAFN) In a surprising turn of events, city workers in Zurich found themselves on the receiving end of an unexpected financial boon as authorities accidentally paid double their February salary due to a technical error, as revealed in a statement published on the official website of the Zurich City Council on Monday.

The statement explained that the glitch occurred during the processing of salary transfers by the state-owned Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB), responsible for handling the city's payroll. The error, attributed to faulty software provided by one of Swisscom AG's contractors, the country's leading telecommunications company, resulted in wages being disbursed twice. Swisscom AG has since acknowledged the incident and launched an internal investigation into the root cause of the glitch.

Totaling around 350 million francs (USD400 million), the salary payments made on Monday inadvertently included a significant amount sent in error. Zurich authorities clarified that the city's approximately 30,000 employees cannot retain the extra funds and are obligated to return them. However, the statement did not provide specific details on the repayment process, mentioning only that affected individuals would be promptly informed about the repayment procedure.

Expressing regret for the inconvenience caused, ZKB issued an apology to all city employees and assured collaboration with the city of Zurich to devise a simple solution for the repayment of the amount erroneously paid twice. The incident sparked a flurry of comments on the city's intranet, with some locals humorously referring to it as a "pilot project for the 14th month wage" or an "inflation adjustment," while others playfully called for a repeat of the unexpected windfall.

This unexpected salary episode not only underscores the potential pitfalls of automated payroll systems but also prompts discussions on the challenges of rectifying such errors and ensuring fair and transparent procedures for repayment. As Zurich grapples with the aftermath of this glitch, the incident serves as a cautionary tale for organizations relying on complex financial systems and highlights the importance of robust checks and balances in payroll processes.

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