Health union loses legal fight to keep paper payslips

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Health union loses legal fight to keep paper payslips

Not everyone is ready for the electronic age.

The Health Services Union (HSU) has failed in its efforts to get hard-copy payslips reinstated for staff working in the Sydney Local Health District (SLHD).

The state health system’s new payroll and HR solution, Stafflink, went live across SLHD hospitals in Camperdown, Balmain, Canterbury and Concord in April this year, giving the district the capability to email electronic payslips to staff.

As of 1 January 2014 the SLHD plans to phase out paper payslips altogether, but not all employees are happy about the modernisation.

On Monday the Industrial Relations Commission heard complaints from the HSU on behalf of a number of workers who say they are not confident receiving payslips electronically due to lack of computer literacy.

The HSU said it is concerned that its members will no longer be able to scutinise their pay and benefits as a result.

“This lack of information concerning their pay will result in many health workers not knowing if they have been paid correctly,” said a spokesman for the union.

The Industrial Relations Act obliges employers to provide their staff with “written particulars” outlining the details of their remuneration – but does not specify the delivery format.

The HSU argued the legislation implies a paper-based approach, but neither the IRC nor the SLHD agreed, claiming an email adequately satisfied the requirements of the law.

Justice Conrad Staff rejected the HSU’s request but ordered the SLHD to offer computer training to up to 400 affected staff so they can better adjust to the new process.

"We're disappointed with this decision, as this will inevitably result in many health workers not receiving information about their pay in a way they understand,” a HSU spokesman told iTnews.

"We don't have confidence that the process established is going to provide a lasting resolution.”

The SLHD said it is more than happy to offer the training to those who want it, and said it had taken every step possible to smooth the transition for its employees.

“All staff have been provided with instructions and training on how to use the new system... These instructions included a step-by-step process to assist staff who may have difficulty in operating computers. Further, when required, senior staff have assisted those employees who have sought guidance in accessing their e-payslips," a spokesperson said.

“The Industrial Relations Commission has recently requested the HSU refer the names of its members who it alleges may require further training. The District looks forward to receiving this information so it can provide training as soon as possible."

The new payroll system will replace the legacy Supero solution and offers staff online access to self-service HR capabilities.

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