The head of the company behind the Novopay payroll system has
apologised to school staff left unpaid before Christmas but
says he's "bamboozled" anyone would be in that position.
Chief executive of Australian company Talent2 John Rawlinson
said there was no reason for staff to go unpaid because they
could get cash advances from their individual schools who
would be reimbursed.
"Either staff don't know about the process, the school
doesn't follow the process or they just don't want to get
paid - I agree you shouldn't have to worry about it, it
should go into your bank account, but from day one there's
been a process."
Mr Rawlinson said there was a helpline and it would be
staffed during the holidays to deal with problematic pay.
"At Talent2 we have a mantra that we want to be a force of
betterment for people; and individuals that work in those
Mr Rawlinson echoed the comments made by former Secretary for
Education Lesley Longstone, saying if he could go back and
roll out Novopay differently he would - but he wouldn't think
twice about accepting the contract.
"We're really sorry that it hasn't gone better. It's been new
and there have been some errors, and there have been parts of
the process that haven't worked as well as they should have
and for that we apologise."
Schools have been left reeling at the beginning of their
holidays after a last-minute scramble to try to stop
incorrect payments from leaving school bank accounts on
There have been signficiant problems with holiday pay. Staff
reportedly faced wait-times of more than 30 minutes when they
tried to get through to the Ministry of Education's helpdesk.
The ministry's chief information officer Leanne Gibson said
300 school staff had not received their holiday pay, but
73,000 school staff received their final pay for the year.
Ilminister Intermediate School principal Peter Ferris tried
to sort out $10,000 that had been wrongly allocated to be
paid to former staff. He was unable to, and payments of $5800
went to one staff member who hadn't worked at the school for
six months, and another $3600 went to a former part-time
He tried to contact the ministry's helpline on Thursday but
the payment still went through.
Mr Ferris said the school had problems in all pay cycles
since August and the Ministry were yet to reimburse the
Thousands of staff have been incorrectly paid since the $30
million Novopay system for 92,000 school staff was introduced