Re: Private sector
I'm sure these cock-ups happen in both sectors from time to time.
They certainly happen anywhere that you allow the parasitic organism "HR" to take root and grow. If you've got more than a payroll team, then be worried. And that payroll team only needs to be about 1 FTE per 1,000 employees.
I wonder if you can buy HRicide in convenient spray canisters? My employers could do with a bulk delivery. But to be honest, looking at the presence, calibre and contribution of most HR "professionals", it is possible that simply sprinkling salt on them would be sufficient.