Development Roadmap Update
In March 2018, ESR Release 38 included the final pieces of the ESR Enhance Development Roadmap. Starting with enabling internet access for employee users and improved on-line payslips in summer 2016, this significant period of development has introduced a number of key changes to improve the functional scope and usability of the ESR solution.
Our Roadmap bulletins have outlined the changes as we have progressed along the timeline and key items have included:
- Comprehensive updates to the reporting solution:
- Change Event and View Only Audit;
- Payroll Exception Reporting;
- Wide range changes to the BI solution;
- Significant updates to the employee, manager and learning administration user interfaces;
- Introduction of the “My.ESR” Portal including a comprehensive library of Portlets;
- Extending internet access for manager Self Service and Business Intelligence reporting for professional users ;
- Workflow delivery and interaction by e-mail.
The subsequent increase in overall ESR deployment demonstrates the investment has delivered against the principle objectives, including cementing the solution at the heart of NHS workforce planning and management and empowering employees and managers to be more effective and proactive with the data they have so easily available to them. In the 6 months following the completion of Portal Provisioning (October 2017 to March 2018) user growth has been significant:
- The number of unique employees who have now accessed ESR through the Portal increased by 440,228 (164%);
- In October 2017, the total number of Portal logins was 879,949. In March 2018 this had grown to 1,908,894;
- The number of employees accessing self-service each month has risen by 11% to 510,624;
- The number of employees that no longer receive a paper payslip has increased by 128,111 (45%).
We will continue to monitor deployment of ESR across the NHS and will assist organisations looking to maximise the investment in ESR through a number of tools including our 2018/19 ESR Assessment - which you can access by contacting your NHS ESR Functional Advisor or Account Manager.
Alongside the Development Roadmap, other work streams have also continued to deliver change to organisations and users. These include:
- The upgrade to Oracle 12.2 (December 2017);
- The replacement for EDI (February/March 2018);
- Gender Pay Gap Reports (December 2017);
- 21 further improvements to the Portal and Portlets;
- 32 changes through our “Change Pipeline” - many of those coming through the NSIG networks;
- 171 BI reports created/amended.
ESR however does not stand still, and our plans for 2018/19 are as aggressive as previous years with some key changes in the next six to nine months:
- Migration away from N3 to HSCN (planned for July 2018);
- Implementation of the 2018 Pay Award (July 2018 - dates to be confirmed following completion of testing);
- Ending the “mhapp” access route to ESR – all access to be through the ESR Portal (planned for September 2018);
- Migration away from Discoverer – (Discoverer will be removed from ESR in December 2018);
- Improvements to IAT initiation and portability of national competencies (dates to be confirmed);
- Working with national stakeholders to ensure that ESR continues to meet the strategic challenges of productivity and efficiency and the Streamlining agenda.
The infographic below provides a helpful summary of our development plans in the coming months and further information on specific developments can be found in our Development Schedule on kBase.
It is worth noting that this scale of development to ESR, in combination with defect resolution and a very high demand for organisational merges and de-merges, means that that the solution does have to be withdrawn at specific times through the year. At a time when ESR has such a large and diverse user base – reflecting the 24/7 nature of the NHS – this inevitably can lead to concern and confusion around ESR availability. You can help us with this by:
- Communicating the planned and actual ‘downtime’ schedule with your users so that they are aware as soon as possible when their ESR will not be available to them. We will also publish announcements on the Portal and via the service status on the ESR App as appropriate;
- With a reliance growing towards on-line payslips, ensure that you set the Payslip View date to be as early as possible to minimise the impact that any month end ‘downtime’ may have on your users wishing to view their payslips on-line.
Recording Apprenticeships in ESR
NHS organisations have been able to enter apprenticeship information into Health Education England’s National Apprenticeship Monitoring System (NAM) since December 2015.
During this time, the NHS ESR Central Team has been collaborating with Health Education England and NHS Employers on an enhancement to enable apprenticeship information to be recorded within ESR alongside other employment information. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017 increased the focus on apprentices in the NHS and heightened the need for ESR to provide a solution that enables adequate recording, and therefore reporting of apprenticeship data.
Subject to successful deployment, this enhancement will be implemented in Release 39 (June 2018) following the removal of NAM, and therefore should be used as the main method for NHS organisations to record apprenticeship details going forward.
Health Education England wrote to NAM contacts at the beginning of April to confirm the decommissioning of NAM with effect from 30th April 2018.
A new Extra Information Type (EIT) form will be created at assignment level enabling organisations to record key information in relation to apprentices.
The form includes the following fields:
- Apprenticeship Level
- Start Date
- Proposed End Date
- Actual End Date
- Main Training Provider (UKPRN)
- EPA Centre
- Apprenticeship Type
All of these data items will be reportable through ESR Business Intelligence.
Further details on the functionality will be included in the guide to enhancements document for Release 39.
- It will now be possible to report on employees who have been specifically employed as an apprentice as well as those employees who are undertaking an apprenticeship whilst continuing in their existing post. These scenarios will be differentiated by the ‘Apprenticeship Type’ field.
- Holding the apprenticeship information within ESR enables the data to be linked to further workforce information and therefore opens up significant reporting potential , for example:
- Equality Characteristics
- Salary Information
- Reason for Leaving
- Future career (i.e. progression following completion of Apprenticeship)
- Apprenticeship information will be transferred through the IAT process enabling organisations to inherit historical apprenticeship information for a new employee.
- Recording apprenticeship details through the EIT form allows organisations to use the job role field more effectively to record a job role more relevant to the work being undertaken by the apprentice, rather than using the generic job roles of ‘Apprentice’ across the various staff groups. The ‘Apprentice’ job roles will therefore be removed following a period during which more suitable job roles will have been adopted. Further details will follow.
- Organisations can utilise BI to assist in meeting the statutory reporting requirements in relation to apprenticeships set out by the Department for Education. This includes the need to report on apprentices as a proportion of your overall trust headcount.
- Regional and national organisations will be able to report on NHS apprentice information through the ESR system reducing the burden on organisations to provide this data via separate systems and submissions.
Health Education England has been working with ESR for some time now to ensure that the apprentice data could be entered into the ESR system. We are pleased that this has now become a reality with the launch of the apprentice fields in ESR. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this addition by adding the apprentice information in ESR. By doing this, it will give the NHS a better picture of apprenticeships across the country as well as allow local trusts a central place in which to store and manage apprentice data.
Kirk Lower, National Lead for Apprenticeships and Talent for Care at HEE
Following the implementation of the enhancement into ESR, organisations are strongly encouraged to use the new form to record details for all current and future apprenticeships.
Organisations also have the ability to record historical apprenticeship information should they choose, however it should be noted that the list of values are based on current framework/standards and EPA Centres.
For further information please contact your regional NHS ESR Functional Advisors or Account Managers.
Recording Property Management in ESR
Many staff in the NHS are provided with numerous pieces of equipment, from simple badges through to lease cars. It is vital that organisations and their managers are able to record and track these items and ensure that they are returned appropriately when an employee leaves the organisation.
ESR enables the Organisation to delegate this task as required, such as:
- Central control via the HR responsibility
- Local control e.g. IT via a dedicated property register responsibility
- Controlled directly via managers using self service
Specific reports and notifications are also available.
In addition - via the ESR Portal, employees will also be able to see what property has been allocated to them.
How to record property
The functionality is based on a simple and easy to use form where you record against the employee, the start/end date that the item was given, the property and asset number where applicable. The end date also drives notifications when a leaving date is entered and also ensures that they cannot be a leaver until a date is entered. This ensures that property is proactively managed.
In Core ESR
The form is available via the following User Responsibility Profiles (URPs):
- HR Administration – via the Enter and Maintain path;
- Property Register – a stand-alone URP that can be given to specific departments that allocate property e.g. IT Department;
- Manager/Supervisor/Administrator Self Service – Direct input from the manager or their nominated administrator.
Equally a mix or all of these can be used so that property allocated by various departments is captured, therefore avoiding omissions. For instance I.T. may only allocate mobile phones and laptops, HR might allocate ID badges and the manager may record lease cars etc.
The list of values are set nationally but can be added to locally via the ‘System and User Administration’ User Responsibility Profile (URP).
One Organisation who found the property register functionality invaluable is Nottingham City Care CIC.
Emma Alcock, HR Transactional Team Leader said:
Using the property register to record assets has proved a failsafe method of ensuring that our assets are returned when an employee leaves our organisation. Previously, we relied on Line Managers telling us that their employees were in possession of assets at the time the termination forms were submitted. However, we felt that this was not a robust process. Using the Property Register in ESR from the commencement of employment allows our employees to check these details via their ESR portal which is also useful for tax purposes. Leaving the end date blank ensures that the employee can’t be made a leaver on ESR. This then flags that there is a problem which can be addressed before the employee leaves. Once the asset e.g. a lease car has been returned, filling in the end date allows the termination process to continue.
During the SSHR termination process if the employee who is being terminated has any property assigned to them in the property register, this will be displayed to the person performing this function.
Additionally the following people will also be notified that there is property assigned to the person being terminated:
- The manager receives a notification one week (7 Days) before the termination date/last working day and again on the actual termination date/last working day.
- Holders of the “Property Register” URP will receive a “Leavers with Property” notification one week before the employees leave. The notification will contain details of the employee e.g. where they work, email address etc. and also their manager, and their email address as well as details of the property they have.
There are a number of reports available in ESR BI under the Staff in Post Dashboard – Property Register tab which has 3 analysis
1. Property Register Detail
This analysis is designed to show the detail of Property Register entries at an effective date (as defined by the user).
2. Property Register Entries
This analysis is designed to show the number of Property Register entries grouped by Staff Group or Organisation Levels 1-4. An Effective Date Prompt is available for users to set as required.
3. Property Register Timeline
This analysis is designed to show the number of Property Register entries over a period of time (default previous 12 months).
Organisations should fully utilise the property register functionality as it ensures that all organisational property is recorded and subsequently returned in good time, avoiding unnecessary replacement costs. The capability is flexible and easy to use by employees, managers and selected departments.
If you would like to know more then please contact your regional NHS Account Manager or Functional Advisor
Equality and Diversity - why your details are recorded
Under the terms of the Equality Act 2010 all Public Sector Employers, including the NHS, are obliged to ensure that employees are not discriminated against, harassed or victimised on the grounds of a number of Protected Characteristics. Furthermore under the Act there is a Public Sector Equality Duty whereby public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work; in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees. It also requires that public bodies have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination
- Advance equality of opportunity
- Foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities
Recently introduced gender pay legislation requires employers with 250 or more employees to annually calculate and publish the pay gap between their male and female employees.
ESR enables the recording and reporting of data to help organisations demonstrate compliance with equality legislation. It also assists in comparing the experiences of staff in the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES), and in determining action where necessary.
How can I view and amend my Equality and Diversity details?
Those with access to ESR Employee Self Service or Employee Self Service (Limited Access) can view or amend their own details by following the navigation paths as shown below:
ESR Portal > My ESR Dashboard
Note that pregnancy and maternity details cannot be entered by employees.
A number of online learning sessions have been created to demonstrate how to use Self Service to enter and maintain your personal details. Click here for details.
Reporting on equality and diversity using ESR can be adversely affected by the proportion of blank entries or the selection of options such as ‘I do not wish to disclose’. You are urged to ensure that your personal record is fully populated with appropriate entries. Better data leads to better policies and better management decisions affecting the workforce.
Are all of the legally protected characteristics recordable on ESR?
The Equality Act 2010 covers the following ‘Protected Characteristics’:
|Marriage and Civil Partnership
||Pregnancy and Maternity
|Religion or Belief
ESR enables the recording of details relating to each of the protected characteristics except Gender Reassignment, for which a decision on the question and potential responses to be made available is awaited from NHS England.
Note that Pregnancy & Maternity details are only recorded on ESR where there is an impact on employment:
- Pregnancy and maternity related absences are recorded.
- Employees receiving maternity pay are given an assignment status of ‘Maternity & Adoption’.
- Where the nature of a person’s job leads to a change of duties during pregnancy an appropriate reason for the change of assignment is recorded.
Are there plans to change the Equality and Diversity details recorded in ESR?
A review of the protected characteristics is currently being undertaken by NHS England. This review covers data sets used across the NHS, not just ESR, in relation to the workforce and to patients.
Work already underway
- Sexual Orientation - Revised classifications have been published as an independent Standard and these are targeted for implementation in ESR Release 39 (end of June 2018).
- Disability - Work has begun in this area which may also lead to an independent Standard.
- Universal Standard - NHS England are considering the merits of creating a single universal standard covering all of the protected characteristics. This would incorporate any previously agreed independent Standards. The relative cost and impact on the service of an incremental versus a ‘big bang’ approach is being assessed.
When will the review be completed?
NHS England has announced that any proposed change to the NHS datasets will need to take account of the 2021 Census which is managed by the Office for National Statistics. A white paper regarding the proposed content of the Census, including equality and diversity details, will be put to Parliament in late 2018/early 2019. The intention is that, where appropriate, NHS datasets should be compatible with the Census data.
Will changes be made to ESR ahead of the wider review?
Although it would be possible to implement changes to the values in ESR independently of NHS England’s review, there is a high risk that any such changes would be rendered obsolete when that review is complete. So at present there are no plans for ESR to implement changes ahead of the published review findings.
When NHS England concludes its data set review and a new Standard, or equivalent, is produced, NHS Digital will begin the process to reflect the revised content in the National Workforce Dataset.
In order to minimise further delay NHS Digital have indicated that they may allow systems such as ESR to implement the required changes whilst the process to formally publish a revised National Workforce Dataset is underway. This approach was recently taken with the implementation of the Sexual Orientation Monitoring Standard.
NHS Digital will publish formal announcements regarding changes to the data sets on their website. Users of ESR will be advised of changes and implementation dates through the usual channels including Release Notices and User Group meetings.