Novopay Newsletter 12 September 2014

News for School Payroll Staff


12 September 2014

Novopay News


A message from Education Payroll Services

We have an action-packed newsletter for you this time around so I'll keep my message brief. After receiving your feedback about attestations and your school's attestation report we have put together a fact sheet that will permanently feature on the Novopay website. We provide another update on the management of schools payroll service, introduce you to more new content available on the Novopay website, remind you of important information about authorised users, and share some general tips and reminders.

And don't forget to sign up for the 2014-2015 End of Year/Start of Year (EoY/SoY) Overview webinar-bookings opened on Monday and training starts 29 September 2014.

Happy reading

Rebecca Elvy
Associate Deputy Secretary, Education Payroll Services

Update on management of schools payroll service

Good progress is being made on the work to transition the management of the schools payroll service to a Government-owned company. The new company now has a name, Education Payroll Limited, and a board of directors. The directors are Dame Patsy Reddy (Chair), Murray Jack, and Secretary for Education, Peter Hughes. All three were chosen for their expertise across a range of areas including business acquisition and transfer, large IT system delivery and improvement, and public sector experience.

We will continue to provide updates on this transition in subsequent editions of Novopay News.

Getting ready for EoY/SoY

We're gearing up for EoY/SoY with lots of preparatory work underway. Our aim is to ensure you are well-equipped for EoY/SoY before the EoY screens open on 28 October 2014.

Bookings for the 2014-2015 EoY/SoY Overview webinar opened this week with sessions running from 29 September to 17 October. We offer webinars both during term and holiday time, so you can choose a time that best suits your needs. Please visit the Novopay website for more information.

Novopay website enhancements

As part of our ongoing enhancement programme, we are in the process of updating and developing content for the Novopay website. Our aim is to improve the information and guidelines available to schools.

New allowance codes look up tool

In addition to our payroll codes update, we have made it easier to look up allowance codes.

We have replaced the allowance spreadsheet with a new search tool that allows you to access a list of codes that are sorted by collective agreement and job type.

As allowance codes will be updated on a regular basis, we recommend destroying any previously printed copies of code lists you may have been using. By using the current code list available on the website, you reduce the risk of submitting a payroll request that cannot be processed due to invalid information. However, a new printable PDF file is available for times you need an off-line resource.

The new allowance code search tool will be available from today, Friday 12 September, and can be accessed here.

2015 Annualisation Agreement for Non-Teachers form (NOVO23) coming soon

The 2015 Annualisation Agreement for Non-Teachers (NOVO23) form and instructions will be available on 28 October 2014. The 2014 NOVO23 form has been removed from the forms page of the Novopay website as it is no longer valid. Please discard any pre-printed copies of the NOVO23 form after 28 October 2014. 

Content improvements to the Novopay website are ongoing so please check back regularly. The website should be your first port of call for payroll updates and information, including through EoY/SoY and beyond.

Attestation report information and tips

You have asked us for more information about your attestation report and the information it contains so we've prepared a fact sheet covering general attestation facts, as well as specifics for teachers and non-teachers. This information is available on the Novopay website.

We acknowledge that you may be experiencing errors on your report, for example, dates may be displaying incorrectly, or teachers at the top of their scale may be appearing on the report when they shouldn't be. These errors are due to system issues and we apologise for the inconvenience these anomalies may cause you. We will update you when these system issues have been resolved.

To ensure the attestation process runs as smoothly as possible in the interim, we have some general information, best practices and tips to share.

. The attestation report is generated fortnightly in Novopay Online (NOL) and displays a list of employees who are eligible for an increment by meeting their service requirement. Your school's report can be accessed by visiting the 'My Reporting' area in NOL.

. It is important that you download and review your attestation report on a regular basis as increments can occur at different times of the year. If you are a school with a small number of teachers, you may only need to check your report once per term. Schools with larger staff may review the report once a fortnight. Find the frequency that works best for your school.

. Each time a school returns an attestation report to the Service Centre, Novopay manually reviews the report for service accuracy, including dates, before loading an increment. The Service Centre will identify any errors when the service is reviewed and pay the increment from the correct date. The school will be notified of any date changes when the ticket is closed.

. Sometimes attestations cannot be processed in time for the draft or final SUE reports. The Service Centre makes every effort to complete all processing before the pay within the pay period attestations are received and will keep you advised of any delays that may arise.

. Increments cannot be loaded in NOL. They must be requested manually.

Attestation information for teaching staff

. Teachers are required to meet both service and performance requirements to be eligible to receive an increment. Schools must manually confirm whether or not the teachers included in the report have met the performance requirements. The Service Centre will check that the service requirements have been met.

When reviewing your school's attestation report, next to the teacher's name, mark:

o 'Y' for Yes if they have met the performance requirements for an increment
o 'N' for No if they're not entitled to an increment
o 'D' for Defer if they have met the service requirements but have not met performance requirements. Also include the defer date.

. If a teacher is on the top step of their grade or qualification group, is receiving permanent units, and has been satisfactorily assessed against the professional standards, they should be marked as 'Y' on the report. Depending on their grade and step, they may be able to progress further up the salary scale.

. If a teacher is on the top step of their grade or qualification group and is not receiving permanent units, they should be marked as 'N' on the report.

. If a teacher is due an increment from work performed at a previous school, the Service Centre may need to gather details from the previous school and investigate the attestation. This process may take longer than other attestation requests. If this is the case, the teacher's current school will be advised of the delay and notified when the ticket has been closed.

For primary teachers only: If a day reliever is working at your school on the day they become eligible for an increment, they will appear on your attestation report. If they have performed satisfactorily, they should be marked as 'Y' on the attestation report. You don't need to assess them against the professional standards in the same way that you would other teachers. You only need to attest that their performance was satisfactory. This is a condition of the Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement (clause 3.6.1 A).

. The Collective Agreements for secondary and area teachers don't require attestation for a day reliever to increment up the scale. Day relievers in the secondary and area sectors are eligible for an increment after 190 days of day relief. They will still appear on the attestation report, but their progression is not dependent on a response from the school.

Attestation information for non-teaching staff

. Non-teachers are automatically included on the report.
. Instead of confirming eligibility of non-teaching staff on the attestation report, it is recommended that you complete a NOVO22nt form and submit it to the Service Centre.
. Where no increment is due, the employee should be marked as 'N' on the attestation report.

If you have questions about your attestation report please contact the Novopay Service Centre on 0508 668 6729.

Information for authorised users

Principals and payroll administrators set up as Novopay Authorised Users have access to Novopay Online, staff payroll records and Service Centre support.  There are different types and levels of access depending on your role, and these are outlined on the Novopay website.

It's important to remember that terminating an employee does not cease their Authorised User status. They will continue to have access to your school's payroll records until a NOVO5c is processed by the Novopay Service Centre. All NOVO5 forms must be sent to the Novopay Service Centre by post-these cannot be sent via email.  The postal address is included at the top of the form.

For more information about authorised user access, responsibilities, and forms to complete, please visit the Novopay website.

Housekeeping: Tips and reminders

Reminder for fixed term employees at the end of their contract

Please remember to submit a termination request for your fixed term employees in NOL, citing their contract end date, before their last day of work. If you are unable to complete the termination request in NOL before they finish, they will automatically stop being paid but they will not automatically be terminated in the system. By updating their status to 'terminated', you ensure they get paid their holiday pay and you keep your school's payroll records up to date.

To do this after their end date has passed, please complete a NOVO6 form and submit it to the Novopay Service Centre.

Meal, field and mileage allowances

Some secondary teachers have raised questions about the terminology used in their Collective Agreement (CA) regarding the tax status of meal and field allowances.

The rule of thumb to follow is:
. If the CA clause uses the term 'reimbursement', the allowance is non-taxable.
. If the CA clause uses the term 'entitled to', the allowance is taxable.

For more information about taxable and non-taxable allowances, please visit the Inland Revenue Department website.

Regarding mileage rates, these are specified in your CA.  Please visit the Ministry of Education website for more information.

Associate teacher allowance

This is a reminder that associate teachers are paid by their approved college of education or approved teacher training provider, not by the school they are teaching at. As such, the Novopay Service Centre cannot accept pay instructions from the school. For more information, please visit the Novopay website.

Service delivery model workshops update

We recently told you of sector workshops held in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. The purpose of these workshops was to provide an overview of the payroll service delivery model review findings and to gather input and feedback on proposed self service and local service improvements.

As a result of these sessions, improvements to the Novopay website content are progressing and local services improvements are planned for implementation.

Further school workshops are being held this month to gather input on other aspects of the service delivery model. The workshops will seek a deeper understanding of school practices and gather schools' specific requirements for central services, namely, the Service Centre.

We will continue to provide updates on this work in subsequent newsletters. For more information about our service delivery model workshops please refer to the 15 August edition of Novopay News.

Feedback and Payroll Queries

We're always keen to hear your feedback. If you have suggestions for topics you'd like us to address in subsequent newsletters, please continue to email us at education.payroll@minedu.govt.nz.

For payroll-related queries, please contact the Novopay Service Centre in the first instance at support@novopay.govt.nz.