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Unacceptable delay in substitute teachers’ pay continues – Funchion

21 February, 2019 - by Kathleen Funchion TD


Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Education and Skills Spokesperson Kathleen Funchion TD has said it was astounding that the Department of Education and Skills has allowed hundreds of substitute teachers to remain unpaid for a period of up to two months due to glitches in a new payroll system introduced as of the 1st of January.

She said:

“Teachers have been contacting both my office directly and the offices of colleagues, desperately looking for answers as to why they have still not been paid for hours worked from the 1st of January. My Parliamentary Question reply from the Department indicates that some substitute teachers can expect a further delay until end of February for the issue to be resolved and for proper payment to commence.

“Substitute teachers have financial commitments and bills to pay the same as any other teacher or school employee. Two months is an unreasonable amount of time to expect people to just sit, wait and hope for the best without any communication on when to expect payment.

“The Department has stated that new administrative arrangements for PAYE began on the 1st of January this year. The new arrangements do not affect the way income tax and other statutory deductions are calculated under the PAYE system, but change the way employers report payroll information to Revenue.

“When the Department reported pay and statutory deductions details for some substitute teachers and other staff during January, it inadvertently included a ‘cessation of employment’ date in the payroll submissions. This had the impact of stopping or reallocating those employees’ tax credits and rate-band entitlements, which in turn resulted in them suffering over-deductions of tax from their DES salaries.

“It is clear that teachers who were affected weren’t kept abreast of the situation and were given no information about the timeframe which they were expected to wait. Understandably, this has been hugely distressing to teachers who have been left in the dark and are expected to continue working in blind faith that they will be back paid and that the problem would be rectified.” ENDS

Note: Please see the relevant PQ below

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 19/02/2019
Question Number(s)195,196,197 Question Reference(s): 7658/19, 7659/19, 7660/19
Department: Education and Skills
Asked by: Kathleen Funchion T.D.
______________________________________________


QUESTION



* To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of substitute teachers at primary level that have been affected by the issue arising from the new modernised PAYE system being implemented from 1 January 2019 which has caused teachers to be underpaid.

- Kathleen Funchion T.D.


For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 19 February, 2019.

* To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of substitute teachers at post-primary level that have been affected by the issue arising from the new modernised PAYE system being implemented from 1 January 2019 which has caused teachers to be underpaid.

- Kathleen Funchion T.D.


For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 19 February, 2019.

* To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the immediate measures being taken to rectify the problem arising from the new modernised PAYE system which is causing substitute teachers to be underpaid; and the date by which those affected will be paid all amounts overdue to them.

- Kathleen Funchion T.D.


For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 19 February, 2019.

REPLY


The new PAYE system developed by Revenue was deployed for the first time from the 1st January 2019.  My Department pays 120,000 staff on a fortnightly basis.  Between 5,000 and 9,000 substitute staff who cover absences for teaching and non-teaching staff could be paid each fortnight for the full period or a number of days per fortnight.

A cessation date was included in the return sent to Revenue on the 3rd and 17th January for post primary substitute teachers and on 10th January for primary and non-teaching staff.  The new Revenue ’system updated the employees’ records immediately and assigned zero credits to them.  

The issue that caused the main problem has been resolved and any substitute staff being paid for the first time in 2019 on payrolls since the 17th January in the case of post primary and from 10th January for primary and non-teaching staff, are not affected.  

I am pleased to advise the Deputy that a solution was applied for some staff in the post primary teacher payroll that issued last Thursday (14th February).  In that regard, a total of 2,450 new Revenue Payroll Notifications were loaded to the post primary teachers’ payroll of 14th February.  The payroll  generated refunds for 69 substitute teachers.  Further RPNs for post primary teachers will be processed in the payroll of 28th February and refunds of tax will issue where due.

Revenue has forwarded 4,728 RPNs to be applied to the primary teacher and non-teaching staff payrolls for payment on the 21st February.   It is expected that 533 refunds will be issued to primary substitute staff and 177 refunds to substitute non teaching staff on the 21st February.

My Department is endeavouring to ensure that every payee has the correct Revenue Payroll Notifications (RPNs) applied to them.

Where a substitute teacher / non-teaching staff member has more than one employer, the Revenue Commissioners will issue RPNs based on the information available to them.  Employees may have more than one source of taxable income and may assign credits to more than one employment.  Tax credits and taxable basis are decided by Revenue and notified to the employer to apply to payrolls.  Any refunds of tax to staff are based on the information supplied by Revenue.

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