Implementing the ESR Online Payslip

A Case Study by Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has an annual budget of £500 million and is one of the largest employers in the region with more than 8,000 staff. It provides both acute hospital and community based health services, serving a population of over 600,000 people in and around Southern Derbyshire.

The Trust runs two hospitals: the Royal Derby Hospital, which incorporates the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, is a busy acute teaching hospital. London Road is the Trust’s Community Hospital.

The Trust treats a million patients each year and more than 6,000 babies are born in its maternity unit annually, an average of 17 births every day. 72,000 elective operations take place every year in the hospital’s suite of 35 modern operating theatres, an average of more than 280 operations per day.

All our employees have access to ESR Self Service (Limited Access), but in September 2015 we established a project to implement the ESR online payslip, and selected a small number (161) of clinical and non-clinical trust employees to participate in a pilot.

The main aim of the pilot was to assess the benefits for our employees, but also the overall benefit to us as an organisation. We knew the on line payslip would bring the following benefits:

  • Access all of their pay-slips since their employment commenced with the Trust (these are held securely within ESR)
  • Ability to print or download copies
  • There would be no more lost pay-slips or delays in the post
  • Reduction in time for the Payroll team in sorting & distributing payslips
  • Reduction in time for teams within the Trust in distributing pay slips
  • Reduced Information Governance risk of distribution of paper pay-slips

We held two awareness sessions that included a Q&A and a brief overview of what the online payslip functionality looked like.

Following the awareness sessions, we produced a guide to accessing your on line payslip for the employees taking part in the pilot and also developed frequently asked questions answering the most commonly asked questions that came from the sessions (all of these resources were accessible on the Trust intranet).

The pilot employees were advised they would not receive a paper payslip from October 2015 and they were sent the guide and FAQs. Throughout the pilot we encouraged our employees to provide feedback on the functionality.

The feedback we received was very positive. The only real criticism was that ESR could only be accessed from an NHS location, and so did not allow easy access for busy clinical staff that didn’t always have access to a computer during their shift.

The only other area of concern raised was in regard to Bank & Building Societies accepting a print-out of the online payslip (Note – at this time, the online payslip was in a different format to the new online payslip that was introduced in June 2016). Several staff involved in the pilot were in the process of applying for new mortgages, and they were asked to use the online payslip print-outs and advise if these were acceptable to the banks. In each case, the banks were happy to accept the printout of the online payslip. We updated our FAQs, to provide guidance for other employees.

Following the conclusion of the pilot, we embarked upon a wider rollout in May 2016 where a further 590 employees across various clinical and non-clinical departments were advised that they would be able to access an online payslip and would not receive paper payslips from June 2016.

In terms of timing, the introduction of the new improved online payslip (being an exact copy of the paper payslip) in June, was an added bonus for us and our employees gave positive feedback.

With the introduction of ESR Self Service being available for staff to access remotely, from non-NHS locations, the issue of staff not being able to access a PC to view their payslip at work has in effect been removed, and a wider rollout of the online payslip functionality is now underway, with over 20% of Trust employees no longer receiving a paper payslip (as from November 2016), with further rollouts scheduled in January, February and March 2017. It is our long term objective to remove paper payslips altogether. From January 2017 onwards, all new employees joining the Trust will be advised as part of their Induction process that they can access their on line payslip via our Intranet ESR pages.

The key benefit of moving to online payslips is the reduction is time and resource to sort and batch payslips for onward distribution around our departments. The introduction of ESR via the internet means that in terms of our long term objective, there is no reason why the majority of our employees should continue to receive paper payslips.

“Access to the online payslip was well managed and smoothly implemented. Staff had the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns. Not only prior to the introduction of the online service but during the period of the pilot staff were encouraged to share their experiences of using the system and to comment on how it was working for them. All suggestions were taken on board and acted upon to improve the process. Personally I have found this invaluable; to have instant access to information without the need to search for paper payslips has been most useful. The monthly distribution of payslips, working out who works where and making sure that those who have moved on get their payslip has stopped. This has saved time and worry for the admin team. It has been a positive experience for myself and for my team.”

Grace Pearn, Service Manager, Specialist Medicine.



Engaging your workforce at the earliest opportunity is a key tip for anyone planning to implement a change like this. Allow employees time to access the system, and resolve any IT issues if they are unable to access their ESR account, and to also allow time for them to ask any questions they have.

We have found our internal guide and FAQs essential resources for ensuring that our employees feel supported and can raise queries.

Please contact Greg Chambers, Workforce Systems Manager – 01332 258141 or for more information about the project at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

If you want to know more about using ESR Self Service there is a Self Service section on our Kbase. Just log in and click the following link:

If you want to know about how to make the online payslip available to your employees via please log in to Kbase and follow this link: you’ll find helpful resources including a presentation slide pack.