Government to dock pay of Qld Health workers

Government to dock pay of Qld Health workers

Summary: The Queensland government will begin to automatically dock the pay of health workers to recoup overpayments arising from the Queensland Health payroll debacle involving an IBM payroll system.

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TOPICS: Government AU, IBM
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The Queensland government is about to start automatically docking the pay of health workers to recoup overpayments arising from the Queensland Health payroll debacle. Laws allowing the move were introduced to parliament last year.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced on Wednesday an automated system to recoup overpayments would come into effect from July.

Springborg said staff members will be notified of new overpayments via their payslips and will have 28 days to raise any concerns.

"Repayments through staff pays will then commence automatically 28 days after the initial notification," he told parliament.

Springborg said repayments would be calculated at 15 per cent of the employee's gross base wages. Given most overpayments were under $500, most will be repaid in under two pay cycles, he said.

The automated recovery system will first take effect on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and children's services. Remaining staff will be added to the system before the end of the year.

"This process is clear, transparent and timely," he said. "It enables us to recover taxpayers' money and ensure staff are not disadvantaged."

Springborg said the government is working to recoup millions of dollars already overpaid to staff.

The doomed payroll system was introduced in March 2010, and resulted in thousands of staff being overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all. The system has been the subject of an inquiry which has heard allegations of a Queensland Health staffer helping IBM win the payroll contract by providing unfair advice and attention, and questions raised as to whether the winning system from IBM was properly vetted.

The government has estimated the debacle will cost taxpayers $1.2 billion.

Topics: Government AU, IBM

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