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New unit to clear Novopay backlog

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister Responsible for Novopay

New unit to clear Novopay backlog

Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce has announced the establishment of a new expanded Novopay Backlog Clearance Unit to speed up the clearance of issues that have built up during the first six months of operation of the system.

The Backlog Clearance Unit will be made up of 100 staff from the Ministry of Education and Talent2 and will operate with the express purpose of clearing the backlog of work relating to previous Novopay pay periods.

That work includes salary assessments, calculation and recovery of overpayments, and the correction of errors from previous pay periods.

Mr Joyce says significant extra staff and resources over the last six weeks has meant progress has been made with the processing of each pay period as it falls due. The next focus is to clear the backlog of outstanding issues from previous pay periods.

“Up until now we have had around 40 people working on the backlog, and they haven't been able to make enough progress. The new BCU of 100 will more than double the number of people doing the work and ensure they are expressly dedicated to clearing the backlog. The goal is to have the entire backlog reduced to business as usual level within three months,” Mr Joyce says.

“The unit will remain in place for six months to ensure we remain on top of the workload and give schools confidence that their payroll will be accurate and their staff will be paid correctly.”

The Backlog Clearance Unit will commence operations on Monday 11 March and ramp up to full strength over the next fortnight. Schools will be briefed on what it means for them in the next week.

Resources for the new unit will come from the $5 million remediation fund Cabinet agreed to last month to provide solutions on Novopay.

“This is another part of the plan to resolve the issues with Novopay as quickly as possible,” Mr Joyce says.

“Final decisions are yet to be made on the shape of the future delivery of the school pay service but this backlog needs to be cleared regardless of the path we take.”


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