Schools warned to prepare for more problems

By Abby Gillies

Green Island School principal Steve Hayward continues to work through Novopay problems during his holidays. Photo / Craig Baxter
Green Island School principal Steve Hayward continues to work through Novopay problems during his holidays. Photo / Craig Baxter

Schools are being warned to prepare for more problems with underpayments in the first two pay rounds of the school year.

Principals and support staff around the country have been forced back to school early to deal with the ongoing debacle with Novopay, the payroll system introduced in August.

The Ministry of Education said the pay rounds on January 23 and February 6 are likely to be too much for the system, as payments are started or restarted to about 40,000 staff who have moved schools or were not paid during the holidays, Radio New Zealand reported.

However, the number of errors each pay day are declining, said Ministry workforce group manager Rebecca Elvey.

"The trend has absolutely been heading in the right direction but I would also stress that there are two pays coming up, both of which include new staff starting at new schools, so both of those I suspect won't be consistent with the trend.

So I suspect there will be underpayments in those payments," she told Radio New Zealand.

Schools had until yesterday afternoon to enter their details to be included in next week's pay.

Principals' Federation president Philip Harding said he was aware of staff from several schools having problems using the system and he was not confident there would be fewer problems with Novopay this year.

"We cannot have another year such as the last few months have provided schools. We need the Auditor General to help us," he told Radio New Zealand.

The Ministry will this year commission an independent review of the payroll system.

- APNZ

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