Much better start of year for Novopay

  • Steven Joyce

Minister Responsible for Novopay, Steven Joyce, has congratulated school administrators and Novopay staff and contractors for the strongest result yet for the busiest payroll period in the school year. 

Mr Joyce has today released reports on complaints and notifications for Pay Periods 22-26, which is known as the Start-of-Year period. During the Start-of-Year period, administrators and the payroll company must enter and re-enter payroll information for some 40,000 new and returning staff for the start of the school year.

The error rate for pay periods 22-26 this year was under 0.2 per cent, less than half the 0.5 per cent acceptable error rate as defined by the Novopay technical review.

There were 81 per cent fewer complaints received for pay periods 22-26 than in 2014.

In pay period 25 this year there were 67 complaints compared to 666 complaints in 2014. In pay period 24 this year there were 125 complaints compared to 855 complaints last year.

“Significant improvements to the delivery of the Novopay service have resulted in a substantially lower number of errors and payroll complaints over the past few months,” Mr Joyce says.

“This is a much better outcome in a traditionally high-pressure time in the schools’ payroll calendar and one that’s characterised by the greatest administrative load of the year for both schools and the Service Centre.”

Mr Joyce says a focus on simplifying processes and encouraging schools to get their data in early helped to minimise pay-impacting issues.

“The Ministry of Education and Education Payroll Limited made a number of significant improvements that included resolving key software defects and processing payroll changes much more quickly,” Mr Joyce says.

“School administrators also took part in additional training and extra resources were put in place at the Service Centre and the Ministry during very busy periods.

“All the work put in by schools, the Service Centre and the Ministry certainly made a difference and I’m encouraged by the results. It was a good team effort.

“With the Start-of-Year process now largely over, work continues in a number of areas, including resolving leave balances and simplifying the payroll system, to ensure schools and staff receive a reliable and enduring payroll service with as few issues as possible.”

Start of Year Error Rates




Pay Period 22



Pay Period 23



Pay Period 24



Pay Period 25



Pay Period 26