Transpower payroll switch delayed

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012

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Transpower is yet to switch to a new payroll system supplied by Talent2 that had been due to go live early this year, but it is not blaming the firm for the delay.

The company is the second state-owned enterprise that has faced challenges changing to Talent2, the Australian firm which also built and runs the Education Ministry's slated Novopay payroll system.

NZ Post spokesman John Tulloch said it had faced some issues when it switched to Talent2's payroll software in April last year, but Tulloch said it was not "black and white" that Talent2 was to blame.

Transpower spokeswoman Rebecca Wilson said the state-owned electricity transmission company could not say when it would be ready to switch to Talent2's system.

Transpower had decided to build in an "extra step", checking its payroll data was accurate before making the switch, she said.

"We are ensuring that the system is completely robust and reliable prior to going live, as we would with any system that we implement. We have no reason to believe we will have any issues when the system does go live."

Unlike the Education Ministry, neither Transpower nor NZ Post have outsourced their payroll function to Talent2.

Employment, Manufacturing and Printing Union spokesman Joe Gallagher said the problems at NZ Post when it changed to Talent2 were initially dire and resulted in thousands of errors, with staff under or overpaid what were in some cases significant amounts of money.

"[NZ Post] were sold something that wasn't fit for purpose' and they had to rewrite a lot of software," he said.

Tulloch said NZ Post was comfortable with its relationship with Talent2 now and satisfied with the way the system was operating. There were fewer than 80 issues with its last payroll run for 8000 staff. In some cases they were to do with data input, he said.

Gallagher said NZ Post was addressing pay errors as and when they were raised by the union, but "things are not perfect".

Talent2 chief executive John Rawlinson said last week the firm's software was used to pay 1.6 million workers, meaning the jobs with the Education Ministry and two state-owned enterprises represented less than 10 per cent of its payroll business.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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