On 30 April it was confirmed that some staff in bands 8 and 9, who are in receipt of enhancements and the consolidated payment for 2020/21 (see table 10b, annex 2 of the NHS TCS Handbook) were partially underpaid.
Since then colleagues from NHS Employers and the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) team, along with input from trade unions, have worked to identify a solution that will enable the correct payments to be made, whilst ensuring the change is applied to the ESR system as quickly as possible.
As such, ESR colleagues will work to apply the appropriate updates to the system to ensure any enhancements are paid using 2020/21 total pay (base pay plus the consolidated payment).
When will the fix be applied?
ESR are working to complete the work as soon as practicable. Given the complexities with updating the payroll system this is likely to be in time for July’s pay run, subject to the successful testing of the change.
Any delays with the current timescale will be communicated as soon as they are known.
What can employers do in the interim?
Employers can manually intervene to prevent or remedy partial underpayment entirely. This can be done before a central solution is implemented. Further information can be found in ESR user notice 2907.
Employers are encouraged to manually intervene to ensure that staff in receipt of enhancements and the consolidated payment are not underpaid. We understand the process for applying this intervention would be the same as any other, however, any specific queries would need to be directed to ESR. Where this option is taken, records should be maintained to ensure staff do not receive double payment when the solution is applied, and retrospective calculation of arrears is made in the payroll system.
To prevent confusion, we would advise employers to communicate the position they take with the affected staff. This includes advising of any impact to their pay, how this will appear on payslips and, in cases where it is decided to not apply a manual intervention, that any arrears will be paid retrospectively in July at the earliest.
How will arrears be managed?
Where an organisation has undertaken a manual intervention to prevent an underpayment, automatically generated arrears will need to be reviewed and removed as appropriate.
Where an organisation has not undertaken a manual intervention, the system will automatically pick up and pay any arrears that are owed to affected staff members, though this is not likely to take effect before July 2020.