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QLD Health must stop system docking pay

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) has ordered Queensland Health to stop making unauthorised deductions from employees' pay, as troubles with the roll-out of the agency's new payroll system continue.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) has ordered Queensland Health to stop making unauthorised deductions from employees' pay, as troubles with the roll-out of the agency's new payroll system continue.

The Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) summoned Queensland Health to a meeting at the QIRC yesterday to address member concerns that the SAP-based payroll system had been making deductions from employees it incorrectly deemed to have over-paid.

Employees who had been underpaid using the payroll had been given ad-hoc payments. The system had taken these ad-hoc payments as overpayments above the normal wage, and had deducted that amount from the employee's next pay cheque.

Queensland Health claimed it could not turn off the automatic deduction feature of the new system. However, QIRC commissioner John Thompson said it must be turned off as the feature was in breach of the Queensland Industrial Relations Act 1999, which specifies that deductions from an employee's pay due to previous overpayments must first be negotiated with the employee.

Other directions from the hearing included providing details of the exact amount each employee had been paid since the March introduction of the new system at the next meeting on 2 June and assurances that group certificates issued at the end of this financial year accurately reflect each Queensland Health employee's true earnings.

Queensland Health has not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.

KPMG has been reviewing the implementation of the payroll system, with the first report released earlier this month. The second report is due in the next few months.

(Front page image credit: Lubbock Heart Hospital image by brykmantra, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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