Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (172)

Thomas Byrne


172. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason for further delays to the payment of teachers in September 2019; the nature of the delays; the actions being taken to address this issue; if the problem that has occurred is the same problem that arose in January 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38645/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

There are no unnecessary delays to the payment of teachers on payrolls operated by my Department this September.

There are 120,000 payees paid on a fortnightly basis. The process for the payment of an individual teacher is that where a contract is awarded by the managerial authority of a school, application forms are submitted to my Department to enable payment to be set up.

The application form must confirm that a teacher is qualified for the appropriate sector and confirm their registration details with the Teaching Council. Details of bank accounts, pension status and other requested information must also be submitted. Once a completed application form is received, the payment will be processed as soon as possible. Normally, payroll closing dates are 10 days ahead of payment date. Where an application form is not complete or where there are queries on some aspect of the application, the forms will be returned to the schools which can result in a delay to payment being set up for a teacher. Where a teacher's registration is not active with the Teaching Council, payment can not be made for the period that a person is unregistered.

Where a teacher is working on a casual / non-casual basis, school authorities enter details of the employee and the claim for payment into the online claims system and these will transfer to the Department’s payroll and be paid according to the payroll schedules. Schools authorities have details of payroll closing dates. These payments cannot be processed until they are signed off by the school authorities. If the deadline for payrolls is missed, payments will not be made until the following payroll date.

During July and August, there are up to 20,000 changes to the payrolls operated by my Department. This consists of retirements, resignations, career breaks, job-sharing, new appointments, increases / decreases in teaching hours, temporary contracts, secondments, award of Contract of Indefinite Duration, re-deployments, and pension payment set ups. All appointments and changes are dealt with in chronological order. It is my Department’s policy to set up as many teachers as possible for the first payroll of the new school year but not all payments can be guaranteed as details may not be received in time to enable payment to be made or applications received may be incomplete, and may have to be returned to the managerial authority for completion.

Once a contracted teacher is set up on payroll, their payment will continue until the end of the contract. Teachers’ working on a casual / non-casual basis will be paid on the next scheduled payroll after the details have been submitted and signed off by the school.