B.C. overhauling its payroll process

Government workers will no longer be paid ahead of time in move expected to save $3.5 million

The B.C. government is changing the way it pays its employees in a move expected to save the province $3.5 million.

Under the current process, an employee’s pay cheque, issued every two weeks, is based on one week actually worked and the estimated pay for one week not yet worked. B.C. said this often results in inaccurate cheques that require later adjustments because they do not reflect things like days missed, overtime worked or holidays taken during that second week.

According to the province, there are currently overpayments of about $650,000 that require time-consuming, labour-intensive administrative adjustments.

The solution

B.C. is introducing a mandatory one-week shift in the payroll cycle for all full- and part-time employees, including union and management staff, to set up a new process in February 2003 that will realign the pay period so staff aren’t paid for a week not yet worked.

During this transition period, employees will be paid for one week’s work. To reduce the impact on staff, the government is advancing employees the equivalent of one week’s pay so they will receive an amount equal to their regular two-week paycheque.

The advance will be recovered throughout 2003 through things like payroll deduction and the use of various vacation banks.

By the end of 2003, further changes to the payroll system are planned that will provide employees with secure self-service Web-site access to up-to-date personnel information.

The government said the move will save about $3.5 million by fiscal 2004-2005 and result in a more streamlined payroll operation.

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