Effective absence management using your ESR Self Service

Jo Sidebottom, Senior ESR Account Manager (London & South) looks at recent developments in how trusts are maximising the benefits of ESR.
Most trusts have rolled out Employee Self Service access to ESR, enabling their staff to check payslips and P60s, amend personal and contact details, change the bank accounts they are paid into, complete and record their e-Learning etc. With the recent enhancement of access to ESR via the internet, employees now have the ability to access their ESR records not just at work, but at home, on non-trust sites, or on the move.
The natural next step in the process, which many trusts have also implemented, is to enable employees to make updates or requests that require management approval, and to allow managers to make changes to their employees’ records that would previously have been done by HR or Learning & Development.
For example, an employee could provisionally enrol on training, with an approval request being automatically sent to his or her manager. Once approved, the booking would be confirmed on ESR and would remove the administration burden from L&D staff. Or a manager might wish to amend an employee’s assignment details, with the option of the change being recorded immediately, or being forwarded to HR or Payroll for checking and approval. These are just two examples of changes that can be done without necessarily involving central departments in additional work. With full Manager Self Service rolled out, trusts can enjoy the benefits of real-time information, and a reduction in duplication and overpayments, as managers input terminations, absences, etc in a more timely manner.
Absence management is a good example of a task that can be undertaken in ESR Self Service. Managers have the ability to record their employees’ sickness, annual leave and other absences themselves. Individual and team absence calendars provide an at-a-glance overview of absence levels and patterns. Sickness reasons are selected from a set national list to aid reporting, with an optional secondary reason to provide additional detail. Evidence such as sick notes and self-certificates can be recorded and updated, with scans of actual documents attached if desired. Details of referral to occupational health, HR involvement, and return to work interviews can all be recorded.
Notifications remind managers where an employee has been sick at various escalating trigger points with no return to work date recorded. On top of this, ESRBI offers a comprehensive absence management dashboard where a manager can view team absence trends and also follow up on individual absences by highlighting cases over specific levels.
All of this is available at no cost to trusts within ESR, negating the need for expenditure on additional systems. Please contact your NHS ESR Account Manager if you need assistance getting the best out of your ESR Absence or other Self Service functionality, or learn more on our website.
Movement to Work, a collaboration of UK employers that aims to tackle youth unemployment
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