Novopay faces holiday hurdle

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER AND DANYA LEVY
Last updated 07:16 14/11/2012
Craig Foss
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
CRAIG FOSS: The Associate Education Minister said he had expressed his disappointment at Novopay's ongoing mistakes.

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The Education Ministry's troubled Novopay payroll system faces a fresh test in about two weeks when it will need to reconcile the pay and leave of thousands of teachers, sources say.

An industry source said he feared Novopay would struggle to cope with the annual reconciliation at the end of the school year, given the difficulties that had occurred processing schools' normal monthly payrolls.

Ministry group manager Rebecca Elvy said the end-of-year process involved holiday pay being paid to 8716 teachers on fixed and part-time contracts, who represent more than 10 per cent of all teachers.

"The ministry is working extremely hard . . . to ensure a smooth end-of-year payroll process," she said. "We are confident that we are doing everything we can to achieve this."

Novopay, supplied by Australian firm Talent2, has been plagued with problems since it was implemented in August. There have been more than 8000 errors in teachers' pay.

Associate Education Minister Craig Foss said he had expressed his disappointment at Novopay's ongoing mistakes to ministry chief executive Lesley Longstone and Talent2.

"I'm fully expecting them to lift their game and I have a commitment that they will."

Mr Foss said he was assured last week that 3000 remaining backlogged mistakes from the first two pay periods would be fixed. "That wasn't delivered. It's now down to about 700, so progress has been made but it is still not satisfactory."

He indicated Talent2 could face financial penalties.

Mr Foss said no decisions had been made on compensating affected teachers.

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