Microsoft has written to a number of the 1,400 employees that were laid off earlier this year, asking them to return some of their redundancy pay.

In the letter, the software company said: "An inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft. We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience to you".

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Microsoft confirmed the letters had been sent but told TechCrunch it would not comment on the number of former employees issued with letters as it was "a private matter between the company and the affected people".

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