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Using ESR to Manage Pay Progression

From the 1st April 2021 the transition period for staff employed before 1st April 2019 will end (as agreed in the 2018 Contract Refresh).  For all organisations in England changes will be applied to ESR which will remove the exemptions from the Pay Progression Process which were previously applied, and staff will now need the appropriate value recorded on the Pay Progression Meeting review. 


To help organisations prepare for the end of the transition period the existing NHS Standard Dashboards have been updated to ensure all relevant employees are now returned within the reporting, Any Pay Progression related BI Portlets have also been updated to ensure all relevant employees are now returned.

It is recommended that the BI Report available in the NHS Staff Requirements Dashboard is used to confirm members of staff due a pay progression in the coming period. This is available to both HR users and managers. 

Pay Progression BI Reporting

The pre-increment report, which is run as part of payroll processing will also highlight any employee who is due a pay effecting progression step and indicate whether they are set to progress or not.

Pay Progression Increment report

Please remember that for your employees who meet the criteria of the terms and conditions of service, will need to have the Pay Progression field against their assignment will need to be set to Yes where the step is pay effecting.


Three new alerts have been created for HR Administrators as well as, Administrator, Supervisor and Manager self service users.  Subscribing to these alerts will highlight employees on AfC Bands 8c and above who are at the top of the band and will need to re-earn part of their salary.

The alerts are designed to run monthly and include employees who are due to re-earn part of their salary 4 months and 1 month before and those due in the same month.

The alerts are available within the NHS Standard Dashboards/NHS Staff Requirements Dashboard Items/Alerts folder:

Pay Progressions Alerts

Updating the Pay Progression details

It is necessary to record the outcome of the Pay Progression meeting in ESR to ensure that employees progress appropriately and the following options are available to support this process:

Self Service

Managers are able to set up and complete the Pay Meeting in ESR using the Appraisal and Review functionality.  Your Managers and employees will receive reminders for those staff with a pay effecting pay step within the next three months.

Information on Managing Pay Progression via Self Service can be found in the ESR User Manual:

Professional Users

In these challenging times managers may not have the time to complete this process for their impacted staff and so central support from HR Teams may be required.

Information on Managing Pay Progression through HR functionality can be found in the ESR User Manual:

A joint working group of the NHS Staff Council Executive has produced guidance to support the application of pay progression during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For further information please review Application of Pay Progression from 1st April 2021.


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