We are delighted to announce the release of the latest addition to the ESR Connect suite of reports, the ESR Connect NMW Report which we have developed at the request of one of our longest standing clients, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

In light of recent advice given by HMRC to Steve Billingham, Payroll Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, it became apparent that certain deductions should be taken into account when calculating whether or not an employee has fallen below the National Minimum Wage and we were honoured that the team at Leeds chose to contact us for a solution.

The new ESR Connect NMW Report is suitable for salaried workers and uses payslip data to collate basic pay, basic hours, the employees date of birth and a range of user-selectable payments and deductions (including Trust-specific local elements) to calculate whether an employee has fallen below the National Minimum Wage. The report calculates the employees age during the pay period in question and then compares their pay with the correct rate, vastly enhancing accuracy, and even provides a warning if an affected employee is due to go from one rate to another mid-period. The system also holds National Minimum Wage rates going back to 2011 so the report can be run retrospectively if Trusts need to work backwards based on the updated guidance.

The right tools for the job and excellent value for money come as standard with ESR Connect

In a world of spiralling costs, we are pleased to be able to further demonstrate our commitment to offering real value for money to the NHS by rolling out the ESR Connect NMW Report at no extra cost to all existing clients. Demonstrating a collaborative approach to software design whilst offering users clear value for money were major factors in the ESR Connect Spreadsheet being named ‘Best Workforce Innovation’ at the 2018 HSJ Parternship Awards, and these remain the cornerstones of our business today.

Pete Wellock, Deputy Payroll Manager – Systems and Pensions at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust gave the following comments:

As everyone will be aware, we have issues with ESR not flagging up National Minimum Wage breaches other than salary sacrifice instances. We urgently needed a solution that we could trust and rely on to give us assurance that employees on each and every pay run were paid within NMW wage regulations. No one wants to be named and shamed in the national press!

We approached Shaun at ESR Connect to explore if there was any way ESR Connect could be tailored to carry out these checks and as usual he embraced the challenge. Working collaboratively with the Payroll Team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, the report was built, tested against real time data and perfected in a very tight timeframe, with a final full test against 25,000 records on the January payroll.

We plan to start using the new report from March. We’ll run the process after our checking run each period and correct any breaches in real time and then double check again after the BACS run to avoid any chance of falling foul of an HMRC audit.

There are some unavoidably out-of-scope areas: The solution can’t identify apprentices due to the non-standard way they are set up nationally and HMRC regulations state that an offset value needs to be included when assessing rent for NMW so we have to undertake some further checks on those. However, both these items are flagged, as are leavers, employees on half pay and those on maternity leave so the report saves us a huge amount of manual checking work each month.

ESR Connect have once again proven to be responsive to our needs and have gone way beyond what would be expected of them. Thanks to this real-time solution, we now have assurance that Leeds Teaching Hospitals are NMW compliant. I know cost is king in the NHS at the moment but even if ESR Connect did nothing more than this check, the product cost would fade into insignificance when you consider what HMRC fines you could be inadvertently accruing.

Pete Wellock, Deputy Payroll Manager – Systems & Pensions, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Fancy trying ESR Connect for yourself?

If you would like to make use of the ESR Connect National Minimum Wage Report or any other ESR Connect feature, we can offer software demos in person or online and can even provide a no obligation three month software trial with full tech support for your Trust, free of charge.

Our friendly team are ready and waiting to help and our client base is growing all the time, as are are the benefits of using our products. Feel free to get in touch to start saving time and money with ESR Connect.