Minister for Health
The Honourable Lawrence Springborg

Health Minister Moves on Payroll Bungle

Queensland Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, has lifted Labor’s freeze on the recovery of overpayments in a key move to fix the bungled payroll system.

In Parliament today Mr Springborg announced the lifting of the moratorium which will allow steps to recover $91 million in overpaid wages from 61,746 staff.

“The ongoing payroll saga has plagued Queensland Health and inconvenienced thousands of staff since March 2010 and I am keen to resolve it,” he said.

“Labor decisions such as the moratorium and its entire administration of the health payroll seem wilfully reckless. The moratorium on overpayments has created a mountain of debt for employees that was allowed to grow.

“To start moving forward, the first thing we have to do is lift the overpayments moratorium, so we can get on with the job of fixing Queensland Health. It is not only very important, but the ‘right’ thing to do for Queensland taxpayers.

“While some large overpayments a re outstanding, most affected staff accept the need to pay the funds back. We will work with staff to ensure they understand why overpayments are being recovered and to support them through the process.

“I understand staff are frustrated, so I want to reassure them I am committed to ending the payroll saga. I want to thank them for their continued patience and understanding,” he said.

In his ministerial statement to Parliament, Minister Springborg again appealed to the Opposition Leader, Annastacia Palaszczuk, to release relevant cabinet papers from the former government.

The Minister said the mountain of debt owed by staff was increasing an average of $1.7 million each fortnight. The practice of accepting retrospective pay claims up to six years old would also cease.

“From September, a three-month cut-off will apply, a provision that mirrors current practice elsewhere in the public and private sectors,” he said.