Euro banknotes on a table in Espoo in June 2021. The City of Helsinki has experienced severe payroll issues since migrating to a new payroll software, with more than 4,000 wages paid only partly and 96 completely unpaid by mid-October. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


PAYROLL PROBLEMS at the City of Helsinki are expected to continue throughout the autumn even though the share of errors in paid wages has decreased since last summer because of a significant backlog of unresolved cases.

Officials from the capital city revealed yesterday that errors have been detected in 5.8 per cent of wages paid in September, signalling a significant drop from the error rate of 12 per cent in June.

Helsingin Sanomat reported that the backlog of contact requests received by payroll services, though, has increased to nearly 10,000 as the number of contacts has increased and the pace at which errors are rectified has slowed down month after month. In the past two weeks, reports of errors in wages have outnumbered resolved cases.

The majority of error reports deal with missing wages. By mid-October, over 4,000 wages had been paid only partly, 1,200 wages had been overpaid and 96 wages had been left entirely unpaid.

Mayor Juhana Vartiainen (NCP) on Wednesday admitted in a news conference that the problems have caused “unreasonable harm” and “rightly” dented the reputation of the city.

The City of Helsinki has recruited more customer service agents and a new service director in an attempt to speed up the process, with the aim of resolving all errors that occurred in the first half of the year by the end of October. The pace, it stated, has slowed down due to the complex nature of the errors and the fact that they are being resolved manually.

The city will also begin offering compensation for the late payments.

The City of Helsinki revealed earlier this month that it has set aside six million euros for tackling the payroll problems and overhauling the entire payroll process in its budget for next year. The ongoing problems began with the adoption of a payroll system developed by Sarastia in April 2022.

The same system has caused problems also in Espoo, according to MTV.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT