AMS collaboration with key partners successfully delivers significant health remediation

2 Oct, 2023

In August, AMS, with Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand) and key partners, achieved the longstanding and significant remediation and rectification of Auckland Health District. The project began in 2018 and involved recalculating pay from 2009 to correct holiday payments in line with the Holidays Act 2003 for thousands of Auckland Health employees.

The same milestone was achieved in September for the other Auckland Metro Districts (Counties Manukau and Waitemata Health Districts). All Health Districts are undertaking individual remediation and rectification projects. The Auckland go-lives are in the largest Health Districts. They are the only Health Districts to have achieved remediation, rectification, and full compliance with the NZ Holiday Act 2003.

Te Whatu Ora worked with MBIE and the Unions to define compliance in the Health context, and an independent third party verified the rules.

AMS worked collaboratively with Te Whatu Ora to enhance our product to cater for these requirements to achieve compliance and importantly to enable Payroll teams to maintain ongoing compliance. 

Why did we do this?

AMS pays over 50% of the Health workforce, and Health is a significant and strategic customer to AMS. As an NZ-focused payroll and rostering provider specialising in many of NZ’s most complex environments, AMS is fully committed to providing our customers with the most compliant payroll software.

Working with Te Whatu Ora provided an unusual opportunity to support a key customer while evolving our underlying software.

Challenges (Con's)

AMS provides Payroll to eight Health Districts (including four of the six largest) and implemented the new payroll for Te Whatu Ora in early 2022. Each District needs to achieve remediation and rectification and has standard and specific requirements to be catered for. AMS has adopted a leadership role and has been instrumental in defining common approaches and chairing Health forums to promote reuse and shared understanding across our Health customer base.  

The overall work programme is believed to be the most extensive in Australasia. It spanned holiday payments back to 2009 while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to Te Whatu Ora from the District Health Boards.

Positives (Pro's)

Despite the challenges, the project was characterised by great collaboration from Te Whatu Ora and the various third-party remediation partners. This large-scale collaboration demonstrated the commitment and dedication to ensuring that all affected Health employees received their duly owed payments.

AMS has invested in aligning our product roadmap and key staff to ensure this outcome and can now unequivocally prove that our software is built and independently verified to be fully compliant with the NZ Holidays Act 2003 in one of the most complex workforce environments in the country.

Achieving compliance involves implementing robust software systems (and configuration), efficient business processes, and ongoing training of payroll employees. By investing in these areas, our software enables clients to meet compliance requirements, ensuring we will stay ahead of compliance.

Looking to the future

With remediation complete for the Auckland Metro area, we continue to work with other AMS Districts on their remediation and rectification projects, including Capital & Coast, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Nelson Marlborough and South Canterbury, while sharing learnings from the previous projects with other customers as well.

AMS is focused on collaboration and co-design through sharing our learnings across Districts and promoting collaboration by sharing configuration and compliance suggestions to pave the way for a compliant and fair health workforce in New Zealand.

AMS was acquired by Volaris in November 2021, which provides us with the stability and best practice of being part of a much larger organisation while retaining our independence, autonomy and long-term commitment to our New Zealand customers. 

AMS remains committed to making a lasting contribution to the health sector in New Zealand. With reforms promised for the Holidays Act 2003, we hope to see future simplification to reduce the compliance burden on New Zealand businesses.