Loans to cover pay date switch for 84,000 health bureaucrats

Queensland Health plans to provide a loan of two weeks’ wages to each of its 84,000 workers, allowing the department to delay the regular pay date in a bid to reduce errors.
Nanjing Night Net

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said today the government would push ahead with plans to change to pay date for its workforce, as overpayments continued to cost about $1.7 million and affect 4000 people each pay cycle.

Mr Springborg said employees were currently paid three days after the end of their roster, but from October that period would be extended to 10 days, in line with expert recommendations to improve the accuracy of payments.

This would mean as many as 10,000 additional forms could be included in each pay run, but the income of health staff would not be affected, he said.

Mr Springborg said the changeover would require transition loans to help staff manage their financial obligations, with such loans set to be provided to all employees unless they opted out. He said the loan value to be calculated for each staff member would be based on about two weeks’ net pay.

Each loan would be recovered automatically when staff members left Queensland Health.

Mr Springborg said it was unfortunate that employees with bank account deductions would need to adjust their schedule to suit the new pay timetable.

He said “long-suffering employees” would be inconvenienced by the change, the latest impact coming in the wake of Labor’s 2010 introduction of a new health payroll system “from hell”.

“Details will be discussed with unions shortly,” Mr Springborg said in a statement.

“We will handle this process sensitively, but it will not be comfortable and for that, from those responsible, there is still no apology.”

Mr Springborg also announced that in the future, staff pays would be adjusted automatically when overpayments occurred, so that mistakes were resolved correctly.

This would not apply to pre-existing overpayments or debts from earlier payroll malfunctions, but would be “restricted to correct future payroll overpayments – and only after permission is sought and received from the employee concerned”.

Mr Springborg is due to face the media early this afternoon.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.