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Government praises Novopay 'improvement', yet educators are still being unpaid

Steven Joyce, Minister Responsible for Novopay, has announced he is ‘encouraged’ by latest figures that show the error rate for school payroll is continuing to reduce.

Joyce today released the reports on complaints and notifications for Pay Periods 20 and 21 which, together with Pay Period 19, are known as the “end-of-year” period.

“The figures show significant improvement compared to this time last year, which was in turn a big improvement on the year before,” says Joyce. “I am pleased that the hard work that has gone into reducing the number of payroll issues and errors is reaping rewards.”

The figures show that Pay Period 20, paid on 20 December last year, paid 75,558 people a total of $176.48m. Ninety-nine staff were underpaid, 21 were overpaid and 37 were not paid.

The total number of complaints received was 0.20 per cent. That compares with 0.34 per cent of complaints from the same time last year.

Both Pay Periods 20 and 21 this year were well under the 0.5 per cent acceptable steady state error rate.

Pay Period 21 was paid on 7 January. It paid 60,322 people $142.42m. Forty-two staff were underpaid, four were overpaid and 20 were not paid.

The total number of complaints received was 0.11 per cent. That compares with 0.25 per cent of complaints from the same time last year.

"Both of these pay periods fall during the busiest period in the schools payroll," says Mr Joyce.

"I am pleased to note that we are continuing to see pay period performances steadily improving as issues are identified and addressed much sooner.”

Schools and Education Payroll Limited are now working on the Start-of-Year period, which involves entering and re-entering personal payroll information for some 40,000 new and returning staff, in time for the start of the school year.

“This is, traditionally, a more challenging time than the End-of-Year period,” Joyce says. “Last year’s Start-of-Year period was the only time in the last 21 months where there has been significant issues with delivery of the payroll.” 

He says the ministry and the new payroll company have put extra resources in to ensure payroll runs as smoothly as possible this year.

“Due to the large administrative load associated with Start-of-Year, the ministry is encouraging schools to complete their data entry requirements as soon as possible to help ensure they have a smooth run,” says Joyce. 

“I’m pleased to hear a number of schools have already made good progress with this work. This is a very important part of ensuring the process is completed successfully.”