Author: Ritu Garg, Principal Consultant & Payroll Stream Lead, Namos Solutions
At the end of February 2022, a pay rise of 1.75% backdated to 1st April 2021 for local government employees was agreed upon. Employers were encouraged to implement it immediately due to the increase in National Insurance (NI) arriving just two months later in April 2022.
Walsall Council had gone live on Oracle Cloud Core HR in June 2020, followed by Payroll in July 2021. They were relatively new on Oracle, but acutely aware they would need to quickly plan and implement the backdated pay award in time for the March pay run. As this functionality isn’t yet fully supported by Oracle Cloud – for example, the update of future-dated records – Walsall needed assistance to implement it in the short time-frame. In collaboration with our partner, Beyond Systems, we worked with Walsall to implement their backdated pay awards, and also empowered them to be self-sufficient for future pay awards.
When we mobilised our Namos Heroes in mid-February the initial conversations raised concerns about employees who had changed jobs in the past year and those who would be pushed into a new tax bracket due to backdated pay, as well as the proposed increase of NI contributions. Following the discovery workshop and system review, we identified further considerations which needed to be addressed to make this a success story. A few cases in point were:
- overlapping assignment grade steps
- manual updates to salary history, which were not in sync with assignment grade steps
- further assessment of elements with custom logic to confirm if they are preventing the retro process functioning as expected
- Obsolete grade and grade steps which had not been de-activated
- Backdated Pay from April to June was required to be calculated in the legacy system
- A requirement to calculate backpay for people who have left – but not to pay them – was most interesting of all.
Walsall’s HR team dealt with the issues related to grade step and salary history. Meanwhile, our Payroll Lead assessed further data and created 16 custom Business Intelligence (BI) reports for elements such as honorarium, protected pay, and for manual cash adjustments that were made post go-live and several reports to aid data cleansing. In addition, the team also built HCM data loader scripts to update the grade step rates. The idea was to use Oracle seeded processes and tools where possible rather than a bespoke solution. Once all the results were reviewed and no further anomalies were found in the test environment then the following was performed on the production system:
- Data cleanse
- Updates to the grades steps
- Extraction of back pay entries …..circa 240,000 entries
- Running retro pays
Both the Namos and Walsall teams continued to meet daily to ensure all actions were regularly in check until their conclusion. Our Payroll Lead supported Walsall HR and Payroll team members with upskilling, created a user guide on implementing pay awards for their wider team, and provided a report catalogue to conduct regular data quality checks. We continued to support Walsall during their payroll processing to address any unexpected issues.
Our Change Management experts worked with Walsall’s HR and Payroll team to communicate the pay changes to their employees, which is often overlooked but is always necessary when incorporating any changes impacting staff in a live environment.
We were extremely pleased when Walsall commented in one of our stand-up calls, ‘There is no way that we would have got to this stage without Namos’ and the email we received from their payroll manager after successfully closing March’s payroll to thank our Payroll Lead who spearheaded this mission. All these comments and sentiments echo our Namos values and motto, ‘Big enough to deliver, small enough to care’.
Having trouble processing your Pay Award? Find out how we can apply a quick fix! Indeed, if your organisation is experiencing other issues with payroll processes, don’t panic, help is at hand via our cost-effective Payroll Health Check Analysis. Please contact the team today at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how we can help you to keep your Oracle Cloud Payroll system running smoothly.
About Namos Solutions
Namos Solutions are an award-winning Oracle OPN Modernised Partner specialising in the implementation and support of ERP, EPM and HCM business solutions, both in the Cloud and on-premise.
Although based in central London, we work wherever our clients need us to be. Many leading organisations located all over the world trust and rely on our expertise to deliver industry-leading business solutions. Namos customers can currently be found in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and Africa.