Novapay firm blames ‘teething issues’

Last updated 14:14 21/11/2012

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Australian payroll company Talent2 has apologised for the problems that have beset its Novopay payroll system, saying the errors in teachers' pay since the system was introduced in August were "teething issues".

The Education Ministry said last week that it expected to pay Talent2 $100.5 million over eight years for building and running the payroll system. But Talent2 said in today's statement that Novopay would result in "significant savings for taxpayers".

Talent2 previously maintained its contract with the Education Ministry prevented it from commenting on the performance of Novopay, but a spokesman said today that requirement had now been removed from its contract.

Chief executive John Rawlinson said Talent2 was confident the next payment cycle, due to be completed next Wednesday, would be "delivered on time and within the standard expectations".

"We acknowledge that there will still be outstanding issues, but we are committed to and seeing continuous improvement," the company said in its statement.

"Talent2 apologises for the inconvenience that payment disruptions and inaccuracies have had on New Zealand teachers, principals, support staff, and their respective schools as they have transitioned from the incumbent legacy system to the new Novopay solution," it said.

"We are genuinely sorry for the stress that this has caused the education sector and we are confident we can resolve the issues."

There have been concerns Novopay's issues may get worse before they get better, when schools reconcile annual pay and leave for more than 8000 teachers who are on one-year contracts in the next few weeks.

The ministry and Talent2 would call every school to ensure they were "supported for the year-end and to get a full understanding of any other issues", Talent2 said.

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