Holiday school pay fears grow

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2012

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Waikato principals are concerned that some staff may miss out on pay over the Christmas holiday period as Novopay identifies "several issues" with its final pay cycle.

Novopay sent an email to schools yesterday afternoon about four new problems with end-of-year payments.

"We have identified several issues with today's final [Staff Usage and Expenditure Report] report," the email says. "These are being worked on and we will keep you updated as we get more information on what this means to you and when they will be fixed."

One error was that "a number of employees who are due to receive holiday pay do not show as such".

Another said some "non-teaching time-sheeted employees" have been overpaid holiday pay as the system calculated it as though they had been working fulltime, rather than part-time.

Deanwell School principal Pat Poland said the news was "terribly frustrating" as schools were winding down for the summer break. "What it shows is that, once again, there's big holes in their systems. The issues are just ongoing."

He said he has been docked four days' bereavement leave, totalling about $1400, for time he took off after his father died, and there was a chance he wouldn't be paid until January.

Waikato Principals' Association chairman John Coulam said there were serious concerns about staff missing out on holiday pay over the Christmas break.

"Holiday pay for those on fixed term and support staff members was due to be paid this Wednesday and there's concern that that's not happening for everyone."

He said there was a chance Novopay could action those payments just before Christmas, but, by that time, schools will be closed and payroll staff will not be able to report any errors.

He said in his school alone - Marian Catholic School - about seven support staff weren't paid holiday pay in the past week and he expected there would be dozens more across the region.

Members of the Waikato Principals' Association have been advised not to sign their end of year audits as true and accurate because of the ongoing problems with the payroll system.

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- Waikato Times

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