One of the tasks in my new job is to update the payroll system. Now, payroll systems aren't hard to implement if you have salaried workers. You just need to create the pay run, then make the necessary adjustments for leave, deductions and superannuation. Once you have emailed the payslips and exported a bank file for payment, your payroll cake is cooked.

The majority of our workforce is casual and part-time shift workers. Paying these workers is a lot more complex, as you need to pay them from a timesheet and consider the different award rules and overtime penalties that will apply to their pay.

As a 24 hour, seven days a week workforce, workers can be paid more for working on weekends or overnight and overtime if they work more than their agreed hours each week. Award rules from the agreement can overlap, creating many complex scenarios for determining how much a worker might be paid for a shift. If you get the award analysis wrong, you will underpay your workers.

To ensure I get the implementation right, I will need to build a comprehensive set of test case scenarios. I don't know precisely how many scenarios I need to cover yet, but I sure it will be quite a few.

I enjoy this detailed and forensic type of work, and it should keep me busy for the next few weeks.