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How can ESR help with Overpayments?

At a recent London ESR Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting the issue of overpayments and the different ways in which it can be tackled was raised by a number of organisations. Whilst ESR alone cannot solve the occurrence of overpayments, it can be used as part of the solution by enabling local process and practice to reduce the risk.

A number of the SIG attendees shared their experiences of conducting interesting deep dive exercises within their organisation, identifying ways to tackle the issues using ESR to monitor and identify the root cause of overpayments.

Findings highlighted that the majority of overpayments related to similar root causes,, including delays or errors when recording:

  • Change of hours
  • Absence (Mat/Pat, sickness, career break)
  • Date of leaving
  • New Starters/Starter did not start
  • Admin error
  • Change of band
  • Manager error

Following the London SIG, a separate ESR online masterclass was run by the NHSBSA ESR London Regional Team that included sharing of experiences and demonstrating how ESR can help and be part of the solution.

Jen Morris, ESR Lead at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Vince Lammas, HR Systems Consultant, agreed to work with the NHSBSA ESR London Regional Team in bringing together the masterclass.

Jen had undertaken an in-depth analysis of why overpayments were occurring and how ESR could help in either preventing them in the first instance or highlighting where they had happened and providing education and training to stop them being repeated.

The masterclass took place on the 25th May and had eighty-five attendees. The NHSBSA ESR London Regional Team demonstrated how ESR functionality can help towards reducing overpayments, including:

  • Using the property register.
  • Allowing employees (including managers and core users) to access ESR over the internet.
  • Ensuring employees have access to their online payslips as soon as possible before payday.
  • Employees receiving an email when their payslip is available.
  • Allowing employees to receive a notification when a change of contract has been made within ESR.
  • Allowing Employee Initiated Terminations via ESR Employee Self Service.
  • Ensuring absence data is entered as quickly as possible, either via managers or core users.
  • Managers using the ESR managers dashboard to keep up to date with their team status.
  • Core users making use of the transaction monitor to view and track details of self-service transactions that have a status of ‘Pending Approval,’ ‘Complete’ and ‘Error.’
  • A range of BI reports to aid in the monitoring and analysis of ESR process.

Following the functional session, the Masterclass was handed over to Jenny, and her colleague Michael Ayling, from Moorfields. They talked about the Overpayment Improvements Plan they had put in place, following a detailed and lengthy root cause analysis.

The things they implemented to tackle the overpayments root causes on a monthly basis are:

  • Manager Self Service Training - completed a re-training exercise of manager Self Service actions for all managers.
  • ESR Manager Access issues - improve process of resolving access issues in a more timely manner.
  • Payroll Liaison Officer - to email Manager responsible for the overpayment.
  • Monthly analysis of root cause of the overpayments for the month.
  • Identify Training requirements for data inputters if root cause identifies a pattern of user error.
  • Checking for any workflows awaiting approval before payroll deadline for transactions.
  • Payroll Liaison Officer - sending a report to HRBPs on monthly basis to look at their divisions.

Following this insightful update from Moorfields the session was handed over to Vince, who was able to share results from projects he had been involved in. His findings backed up the discussions that had taken place in the initial SIG meeting that had led to the masterclass being delivered.


The masterclass session generated lively discussion and most on the call were not aware of the extent that ESR can help, alongside local practice.

All of the attendees told us that they had learnt something new about ESR and had ‘take-a-way lessons’ to investigate further in their own organisation.

If you would like a copy of the masterclass presentation or would like to discuss this with your NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager, you can find their contact details on the ESR Hub by clicking here.


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