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Covid-19 Business Continuity - Payroll for Schools - 18/3/2020

In view of the continually changing situation regarding Coronavirus we felt it would be helpful to provide schools with an update from the perspective of the steps being taken to ensure the continuation of payroll services and to re-assure employees that they will continue to receive their salaries.

Serco have in place a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP) which endeavours to cover off as many eventualities as possible. A key part of the Plan is in anticipation of possible shut down of schools. We have also put in place the ability for key Serco staff members to work from alternative locations, extending the use of technology to allow remote access for Serco staff to key systems and re-organising resources to provide continuity where possible.

Alongside the steps being taken by Serco, we would encourage schools to adopt, with immediate effect, the following actions to minimise the impact of potential future closures:

April Payroll

The Easter Break will, as always, provide challenges as schools will close on Friday 3rd April and not return until Monday 20th, by which time the deadline for April RTE will have passed. Please endeavour to submit your April RTE submission before the 3rd April and include as much detail as possible of on-going sickness absence or additional hours to be paid.

Where possible, please submit payroll forms as scanned documents attached to an e-mail from an HCC e-mail address and send to schoolspayrollforms@hertfordshire.gov.uk – With the potential for closure of HCC sites, paperwork sent via the courier bag or Royal Mail may not be delivered or received in time for inclusion in the payroll.

In exceptional circumstances, payroll forms may be faxed to the office on 01992 555855.

We will continue to monitor the situation and seek to keep schools informed of any developments.

Timetable

Schools will notice that the dates of the various payroll deadlines set out in the timetable have been brought forward by one or two days.

The change is necessary to accommodate the introduction of a Pre-payroll report which will be made available to schools prior to the final payrun each month to allow an initial check to be carried out and adjustments made where significant under or overpayments of salary are identified.

The aim is to reduce the level of emergency payments required each month and also the number of overpayments, ensuring employees pay is correct on each payday.

In order to allow a window for schools to check the Report and for the HR/Payroll team to apply changes to the payroll before the final payrun it has been necessary to move the payroll deadlines forward slightly.

Further information, including a detailed User Guide, will be made available once the report ‘goes live’.

Schools and Academies Payroll Timetable 2020-21
Paperwork Deadline

Final deadline for receipt at County Hall for Starters, Leavers, Transfers, Contract Changes, Timesheets and Expenses.

Electronic Data Deadline

Electronic Timesheet deadlines are those specified above in the Electronic data deadline column.

Informaton on the remote time sheet can be found at:

Financial Year End

Notification of Payroll Changes – Year End
Notifying the Payroll and HR Transactions Team of changes that affect Payroll before the HR Deadline is very important as failure to do so leads to over and under payments.

As we approach the end of the Financial Year it becomes even more imperative that your employees data up to date.

Please therefore make us aware immediately (unless already actioned) any of the following:-
• Resignations – please complete a Leaver action via the SAP portal to record all Leavers from your school as soon as you are made aware.
• Long Term Absences – all long term absences should also be brought up to date for any individual who may be approaching half or nil pay to remove the risk of any overpayments.
• Reduction in Hours – Payroll must also be informed if any individual is reducing their hours.

As the Schools Financial Year closes at the end of the month, can you please ensure that Payroll are informed by the key payroll dates: March 2019 – Monday 11th March