Essex County Council Payroll Issues for Schools Employees

Essex County Council has revealed thousands of school staff have not been paid on time this week due to an issue with the payroll. The problem affects a number of schools in Brentwood and Ongar and I am glad an investigation into the mistake has been so swiftly launched.

Essex County Council has issued the following statement:

"Due to an internal payroll process failure, many school employees who will have expected to receive their monthly salary payment today, Friday 25 August, will now be paid on Tuesday 29 August. 20,000 out of 35,000 school employees are affected by this issue.

We continue to undertake a full investigation as to how this error has occurred and everyone effected has been written to with a full apology.

A full list of schools affected by this incident, and details of frequently asked questions, can be found on the Essex.gov.uk website.

Essex County Council’s payroll team has set up a helpline on 03330 135859 to offer information and advice to schools employees affected or concerned about this incident.

For more information, visit www.essex.gov.uk."

The Council has also issued a fact sheet giving more information about what you can do if you are affected:

FAQs

We are extremely sorry this error has happened and a full investigation has been launched to understand why it happened and to make sure it never happens again.

Why haven’t I been paid this month?

One of Essex County Council’s internal processes failed which has resulted in payroll being run too late to reach bank accounts on Friday 25 August. There is a further complication around it being a bank holiday weekend so salaries will not reach bank accounts until Tuesday 29 August.

Why can’t you make an urgent payment to everyone affected today (Friday 25 August)

This option was looked at immediately but unfortunately due to the number of employees affected we cannot make a blanket payment. We can process individual payments in cases of hardship however.

What employees been affected by this?

The failure in one of our internal processes has affected around 20,000 school employees out of a total of 35,000.

What are you doing about it?

As soon as the delay was identified we checked our processes and have recognised where the error occurred. This process is being immediately reviewed to ensure it never happens again.

How could this have happened?

We are now looking into this urgently. A full investigation has been launched to understand why it happened and to make sure it never happens again. I can’t say any more now until the investigation is over.

I have standing orders / direct debits that normally leave my account on payday (26th); I am worried these will not be paid?

As your payday this month (26th) falls on a non-working day (Saturday), banks usually schedule standing orders to go out on the next working day which in this case will be Tuesday 29 August.

As your pay will reach your bank account on Tuesday 29 August this should not affect any standing orders you have.

I have a scheduled payment due to leave my account today (Friday 25 August), this will leave my account overdrawn as I haven’t been paid. What are you going to do about it?

If you have incurred a financial penalty directly as a result of this delay in your pay being in your bank account, you can write to us attaching evidence of this (online banking screenshot or letter showing a penalty is being charged to you). We will assess each case individually and respond to you as soon as possible.

Will you refund my overdraft charge/other payment charge?

If you have incurred a financial penalty directly as a result of this delay in your pay being in your bank account, you can write to us attaching evidence of this (online banking screenshot or letter showing a penalty is being charged to you). We will assess each case individually and respond to you as soon as possible.

I want to know I will definitely be paid on Tuesday and my pay will be correct.

Yes, you will be paid in full on Tuesday. The error made the payment late but the rest of the payroll timetable progressed normally so your pay will be correct. If your pay is not correct, please contact us again and it will be looked into urgently.

Will this affect my pay in future months?

No, this will not affect your pay in future months and your September pay will be correct.

The schools affected in the Brentwood and Ongar constituency are:

Brentwood Ursuline High School

Brentwood County High School

The Endeavour School

Holly Trees Primary School

Hutton All Saints Primary School

Long Ridings Primary School

Ingrave Johnstone Primary School

Ingatestone Infants School

Ingatestone & Fryerning C of E Juniors

Moreton C of E Primary School

St. Helen’s Catholic Junior Academy

St. Joseph the Worker RC Primary School

Warley Primary School

West Horndon Primary School