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Novopay: debt collection

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, March 13th, 2013 - 25 comments
Categories: schools - Tags:

Apparently quite a few teachers got tempted from the fold and voted for John Key in 2008… it’s hard to imagine many of them wanting to do so after the Novopay debacle.

But Novopay seem determined to make sure of it.

Not content with failing to pay large numbers of teachers it’s now persecuting those it overpaid; even when they give the money back.

So we have the case where they decided to pay a teacher who had been on maternity leave for 10 months. She realised it was an error, and put considerable effort to find out how to pay them the $1840 back (they didn’t know…), and did.

All good?  Not with these incompetent clowns.

They’re chasing her for the $22.78 that they sent to her union. She never saw the money, so ignored the first letter. Now her husband gets woken early by a courier with a sign-for letter to announce the debt collectors are being brought in on her. Cost of letters + bringing in the debt collectors?  You can’t be seeing much change out of that $22.78, even before you realise they’re not going to get money back that they never gave her…

But they’re also having debt collectors approach teachers at schools.

Now we were worrying about the impact on our kids education with stressed administration staff unable to provide support, principals diverted from teaching to deal with the debacle, and teachers’ minds not fully on the job as they worry where their next meal is coming from without the pay coming through…

But now they’ll be heading to class with the worry of what the debt collector who just stood over them will do.  Right frame of mind to create an open learning environment anyone?

If they’ve overpaid it should be fairly easy (if you had a decent payroll system…) to remove it from subsequent pay packets.  Not send the debt collectors in.

It’s already a farce, but they keep digging.

Joyce, the “Mr Fixit-Man”, is once again talking the good talk and sounding in control, but the problem isn’t getting any better – much like the Economy he’s meant to be Developing.  And like his Economic Development, there doesn’t seem much of a plan, let alone results.

Can we sort it out please?  I just want my child’s teachers to be able to concentrate on doing the fabulous job they do educating…

25 comments on “Novopay: debt collection”

  1. TheContrarian 1

    The Wages Protection Act says that Novopay can enforce the payback of an overpayment in this instance however it does break the ‘don’t be dick’ clause which applies to most aspects of life.

    • Zorr 1.1

      So what about those that have been underpaid? Can they do the same to Novopay? Or do they have no similar protections under law?

      This stinks to high something…

      • TheContrarian 1.1.1

        Not sure what they can do about underpayments (I worked in a large organisations working on systemic over payment issues for three years so know quite a bit about it).

        I would visit a lawyer or citizens advice bureau.

        • Kevin Welsh 1.1.1.1

          During work hours, without pay?

          • TheContrarian 1.1.1.1.1

            A lot of people with full-time jobs manage to seek legal advice – free or not.

            Start with the internet

            • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Lawspot.co.nz (?)

              Probably not the best for specialist advice, but at least it’s accessable and free.

              I know someone who had a power meter that had been running properly, but the company had been undercharging them. This went on for three years before said power co. finally figured it out and declared that my friend owed them over three grand (!).

              They sent around people, harrassed her repeatedly by phone (which she tells me that they aren’t supposed to do)….it was awful. Eventually she won somehow and didn’t have to pay the debt. Hope these teachers don’t have to suffer for years before this issue is resolved.

              My bet is that in April Steven Joyce will announce Novopay is novomore.

              • Rogue Trooper

                5M, and a whole lotta new “disease” later. (taxpayer is gonna pay, one way or another, they’re gonna get ya, get ya get ya good)

    • Craig Glen viper 1.2

      They have to get the employee to agree to over payment payback, while the employer is entitled to be payed back they cant take the money with out proper agreement.So the amount and over what time has to be negotiated.

  2. pmofnz 2

    Can we sort it out please?

    No problem, send the debt collector to the union to force them to pay up. Not the punter’s problem in the first place.

  3. Richard 3

    Perhaps all those who have been underpaid could send debt collectors to Steven Joyce’s office (or house). Wonder how he would like that.
    My partner was seriously overpaid holiday before christmas. We want to pay it back, but as she has not received a payslip since Novopay started in August, (or sa single request or even acknowledgement that we have been overpaid) we have very little idea how much is ours and how much we have been overpaid.
    An absolute fuck up from start to finish. So called Mr Fixit Joyce might get completely bogged down in this.
    Of course it will be all Labours fault…

  4. Dv 4

    The ‘overpayment’ was money they paid to the union.

    The implication is that it it the teachers responsiblity to reclaim the union fees paid.

    How does that place teachers in regard to over payments to IRD, Kiwisaver student loans.

  5. It occurred to me last night that a tally of the mismatched dollars should be kept by the teachers whose salaries are being dicked, so that when say a $25 under pay is cancelled out by an overpayment, they say so and only pay if the overpayment is in excess of $25.

    But would Joyce stand for it if a debt collector turned up on his doorstep?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      I’d expect that would be a common way to resolve the errors, but unfortunately a lot of the time it isn’t going to be that simple, due to PAYE being calculated on your expected annual salary and tax being taken out at at a higher rate. So if you’re overpaid by $5000 one pay day, you’ll be charged more tax on that overpayment, then if you’re underpaid by $5000 the next, the overpaid tax from the first case doesn’t cancel out with the underpayment of tax in the second – you’d end up in a position having paid more tax than you should have. There are further complications with kiwisaver, student loans and any other at-source deductions like child support and I guess benefits too like WFF.

  6. ianmac 6

    It appears that Mr Joyce has acted to halt the Debt Collection. Funny that. Surely that would be an Operational matter which Ministers usually hide behind. “That is an operational matter so I cannot answer your question.”

  7. fabregas4 7

    Novapay’s phone line says it all – Press 2 for debt recovery! It’s not debt recovery at all it should say Press 2 for overpayments that we are completely responsible for and please accept our apology’s for the inconvience that we have caused you in being overpaid and having to phone us (and wait on the line for at least 30 minutes), to organise a way to repay the money.

  8. Tigger 8

    Why has no one been fired for this? Blinglish okay it, yes? And if not him then whoever did okay it.

  9. Well Ihope you are correct Ben Clark ,In certainly hope that those teachers who voted this Right -Wing rabble in have learnt their lesson. However don’t hold your breath.Over manyb years

  10. Well I hope you are correct Ben Clark ,I certainly hope that those teachers who voted this Right -Wing rabble in have learnt their lesson. However don’t hold your breath.Over many years I have been amazed at the stupid unbelievable reasons people give for voting Tories in power . I sometimes think working people just like to be punished., .

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