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ESR automates every aspect of the payment of staff, and is fully integrated with the HR functionality in order to save time and eliminate errors.


ESR holds all the information needed to produce accurate and timely payments to staff. This includes personal details that are shared with the HR functionality of the system so that there is no duplication of information. To this is added data specific to pay, such as tax and National Insurance details, allowances and deductions, and pension arrangements. ESR holds all the relevant pay grades and rates for allowances and deductions whilst allowing local flexibility.

A particular feature is Date Tracking whereby the entire payment history for each staff member can be amended in the past or into the future. This enables backdated or post-dated changes to be implemented very simply and quickly, and in the former case, for backdated payments to be made automatically using the Retro Pay feature.

The reporting module allows control and audit of all aspects of the payroll process, and produces the mandatory information required for all relevant internal and external bodies.

Payroll processing within ESR requires that the due processes and reports are run in a given order to ensure that payrolls are processed accurately and on time; with this in mind payroll best practice guide has been developed.


  • ESR holds the full range of Agenda for Change and Medical and Dental rates of pay and allowances, together with a full set of national deductions codes
  • The Date Track facility enables the calculation of future-dated and backdated changes
  • The Retro Pay facility enables arrears dating back over any period to be cleared within the normal payroll cycle
  • Interfaces with third party Time and Attendance Systems and travel expenses systems
  • Flexibility over input of time sheet information – Batch Input facilities or Web – ADI to allow mass input of data
  • Full suite of Interfaces with NHS Pensions for New Joiners; Leavers; Changes; and Year-End
  • EDI interfaces with HMRC plus year-end reporting
  • The Quick Pay facility enables an on-screen “gross to net” calculation for any employee, for example to preview the effect of any change to rates or circumstances
  • The Retry facility allows for the recalculation of payments to individuals rather than a full re-run of the payroll – which reduces the number of queries and need for supplementary payments 
  • Four levels of security control access to payroll information and facilities

What It Looks Like

The payroll component of ESR can be broken down into three elements:

  • New Joiners
  • Elements
  • Payroll Processing

New Joiners


Assignment Form


Tax Information Form


Element Entry Form


NHS Pension Details Entry Form   

Payroll Processing

Request Form


Payroll Best Practice

The M-3025 Payroll Best Practice Guide provides recommended payroll best practice guidance based on the experience gained from system usage, and following feedback from NHS Payroll Providers. The ESR National Payroll Special Interest Group has endorsed the Payroll Best Practice and Critical Path.

With the majority of monthly payrolls paid towards the end of the month, critical processes tend to run around the third week of the month.  The Payroll Best practice process ensures the processing of payrolls has the minimum impact upon other system users during core hours, and ensures that Trusts payrolls are completed accurately and on time. It also allows McKesson to forecast any potential problems and assist Payroll providers where issues arise.

Among the critical processes required for payroll running are the following:

  • NHS Increment Process
  • NHS OSP Batch request set
  • NHS Retro-pay
  • NHS Payroll Run and Retry Run
  • NHS Prepayments
  • NHS Payroll BACS File Transfer
  • NHS Pay Advice
  • NHS Cheque Writer
  • NHS P45 Process
  • NHS Costing
  • NHS GL Interface
  • NHS P45PT1EDI Process
  • NHS P46PT3 EDI Process

Reporting Capability

ESR has a suite of standard reports that organisations are able to run to effectively monitor and manage payrolls and make payments to third parties, such as the Inland Revenue, NHS Pensions Scheme, and Trades Unions. These reports facilitate the balancing of payrolls with the General Ledger and with HMRC and Pension Returns. It is recommended that Trusts balance their payrolls on a monthly basis to ensure they meet HMRC deadlines at year-end. Standard Reports include:

  • NHS Pre and Post increment reports
  • NHS Duplicate Bank Accounts
  • NHS Element Batch Details Report
  • NHS Impending retro pay report
  • NHS Payroll Checking Reports
  • NHS New Joiner and Leaver Request sets
  • Pension Exception Reports
  • Pre-payroll Exception Report
  • Payroll Exception Report
  • NHS Payroll Message report
  • Employees due on half pay/no pay sickness report
  • NHS Gross to Net report
  • NHS Element result listing
  • Monthly summary for Inland revenue
  • Monthly Summary for Pension Schemes
  • NHS End of Year P35 report
  • NHS trades Union report
  • NHS third Party report

The main Discoverer Analysis used by payroll is:

  • NHS Change Event Log
  • Date track Changes and highlights report

Further Information

Further information can be obtained from the links below:

ESR User Manual (N3 Only)

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