Lawrence Springborg.
Lawrence Springborg. Jenna Cairney

Health workers to cough up cash

WARWICK health care workers who found a few extra zeros on their pay cheques in May last year after a payroll bungle will now have to cough up the cash.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg yesterday lifted the moratorium set by the Labor Government, vowing to fix Queensland Health.

Warwick and surrounds come under the Darling Downs health services region, which has the third-highest owing balance and number of overpaid employees, totalling $8.7 million and 7701 overpaid workers, with 6268 of them sporting an outstanding balance.

Mr Springborg told Parliament the freeze would be lifted so outstanding debts could be filed down.

"The moratorium on overpayments has created a mountain of debt for employees that was allowed to grow," Mr Springborg said.

He said the money owed by staff was increasing an average of $1.7 million each fortnight and if it was not paid back soon, the state's health department could not move forward.

"To start moving forward, the first thing we have to do is lift the overpayments moratorium, so we can get on with fixing Queensland Health," Mr Springborg said.

He said the State Government would consult with those who owed money to ensure they understood the repayment process.

"We will work with staff to ensure they understand why overpayments are being recovered and to support them through the process," Mr Springborg said.

The former practice of accepting retrospective pay claims up to six years old will also cease, replaced instead with a three month cut-off.

"This provision mirrors current practice elsewhere in the public and private sectors," Mr Springborg said.



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