Glossary of Epaycheck Terms

The following glossary aims to provide an explanation of the terms used within Epaycheck and additional helpful guidance to support key elements such as data uploading and matching. It is set out in 5 Sections:

  1. GENERAL TERMS
  2. WORKFORCE DATA
  3. CHIEF OFFICER DATA
  4. DATA UPLOADING AND MATCHING
  5. REPORTING

SECTION 1 - GENERAL TERMS

Archive Data

Data in the system will be archived on an annual basis to enable identification of relevant trend data and comparisons in respect of movements in average pay across periods of time.

CSV (Comma Separated Value)

CSV is a file format that is used to store data in a structured table, which looks and behaves in a similar way to a spreadsheet. A CSV filename ends with the suffix csv, e.g. 'nameofdocument.csv'. This is the format in which data is uploaded into and exported from Epaycheck.

Many spreadsheet programs, including Microsoft Excel, enable you to use CSV files.

CSV files can be easily converted into Excel files (or vice versa) by using the 'save as' option and selecting the required file type.

CSV Download

Member Super Users can download a CSV file containing a full list of their own data held within Epaycheck at any time. This can then be used to check data, update local information for pay awards etc and resubmit a new 'bulk upload'. When a Member Super User is reviewing their organisation's data held in Epaycheck, a CSV download is also recommended as a helpful qualitative data check to ensure that all single (data entry) uploads between bulk uploads have been accurately captured in the system.

Current Live Data

Data which relates to the current financial year.

End User

Identified individual(s) nominated by the subscriber to use the reporting facilities of the Epaycheck service.

Family Group

By agreeing to participate in a Family Group, subscribers can openly share their identifiable data (by authority name) with other subscribing organisations who are members of the same Family Group. All participants in a Family Group will be required to complete an authorisation form before the Group is set up within the system. For further details contact your Regional Administrator.

Joint Boards

Organisations such as joint waste disposal and passenger transport authorities.

Member Super User (MSU)

Each Subscriber identifies an individual to act as their MSU and be their responsible person for the Epaycheck service. The MSU will have system access rights and responsibility for ensuring the provision of accurate data to Epaycheck and compliance with the terms and conditions of the Subscription Agreement, including all Data Protection and Freedom of Information requirements and constraints. The MSU will set up and train the End Users within their council.

Pay Ratio

The ratio between the highest paid employee (often the Chief Executive) and the lowest pay rate within an organisation.

Real Time Data

Data that is regularly reviewed to ensure it remains current and relevant as a comparator.

Regional Administrator

The person nominated by the regional employers' organisation (or body acting on their behalf) who is responsible for providing the service and direct support to subscribing organisations generally within each region.

Regional Employers' Organisations (REO)

Regionally based organisations jointly responsible for the commissioning and management of Epaycheck as part of their wider portfolio of services to councils and other employers within their regions.

'Stale' Data

Stale data is data that has not been refreshed in line with system guidelines. Stale data will be archived but not allowed to be reported on when a new financial year commences. Member Super Users will receive reminders via the system to refresh their data, and should respond to these in order to avoid their data becoming 'stale'.

Steering Group

Representatives of the participating Regional Employers' Organisations who collectively commission, jointly own and manage the Epaycheck service.

Subscription or Service Level Agreement

The agreement a subscriber is required to sign before using Epaycheck setting out the terms and conditions of supply and all related fees and charges.

System Administrator

A nominated individual based within one of the Regional Employers' Organisations with overall responsibility for the Epaycheck system and service provision.

SECTION 2 - WORKFORCE DATA (Categorising Jobs)

Job Family

A group of job roles within a commonality of specialism or subject area (e.g. Human Resources) and which are progressively defined at more senior Job Levels.

Job Level

Job Levels are assigned from a series of Epaycheck definitions that reflect the level of seniority of a post determined by knowledge, responsibility and accountability. More detail as follows:

Job Level 0: Operational/Support

Job holders at Level 0 do not need to be professionally qualified, but will require relevant procedural knowledge for their work area. The job holder may in some cases require basic literacy and numeracy skills but not in all cases and; knowledge required can be gained from experience or training.

Job Level I: Technical/Professional

Jobs at Level I normally require the job holder to possess a relevant technical qualification (combined with relevant experience); are in latter stages of acquiring a full professional qualification, be newly qualified or have gained sufficient on-the-job skills and experience to competently carry out the full functions of the post. The knowledge and skills for Level I jobs are likely to take a fairly lengthy amount of time to acquire. Experience is likely to be in addition to the relevant qualification (i.e. NVQ Level 3/4 or equivalent), or there will be equivalent experience where no relevant qualifications exist.

Job Level II: Experienced/Senior Professional

Job holders are usually fully professionally qualified within the appropriate specialist discipline and will generally supervise or manage other professionals. The job holder will normally be accountable to, and may deputise for, a Level III or more senior postholder. Where there is no relevant professional qualification the postholder will require substantial experience working within the relevant service or function at a senior level.

Job Level III: Principal Professional/Manager of small-medium sized team

The job holder will have extensive experience in the relevant area of high level/complex work and will generally be fully professionally qualified, with substantial post qualification experience or have equivalent in-depth knowledge through considerable experience. The job holder will be responsible for the management and control of their area of work, including management responsibility for a small to medium sized team within their organisation. Duties may include directly advising elected members and providing advice and guidance on policy development. The job holder may be accountable to a Service Manager, Head of Service, Assistant Director or Director.

SECTION 3 - CHIEF OFFICER DATA (Categorising Jobs)

Chief Officer Roles

Senior management roles are defined generically as 'Chief Officer' roles; normally these roles are covered by JNC Terms and conditions. Within Epaycheck, Chief Officers are split into six 'generic roles' which are defined in more detail below:

Assistant Director/Head of Service

The determination of whether there is a distinction between these two officer levels will depend upon the number of 'tiers' in the council's management structure. Both posts will operate at a strategic level with responsibility for managing specific but significant service responsibilities, and can be expected to act on behalf of, or represent, the Director within their area of specialism. Where there is only a single tier of service managers reporting to a Director level post this should be attributed as 'Assistant Director'. Where there are two tiers of senior manager meeting the definition they should be distinguished accordingly, with the Assistant Director identified as the higher tier.

Chief Executive/Head of Paid Service

This is the most senior officer role with overall management responsibility (generally the 'Head of Paid Service' or sometimes Managing Director) and is the most senior officer in a local authority, supporting the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet to set the strategic vision of the council.

Corporate Executive/Strategic Director

The post holder is a member of the Senior Corporate Management Team, with responsibility for contributing to corporate decision making across all areas of council business. The post will manage a portfolio of themes, directorates or service areas, reporting directly to the Chief Executive.

Deputy Chief Executive (or equivalent)

This role will act on behalf of or represent the Chief Executive and this post will normally (but not exclusively) directly manage a service portfolio. The key distinction is that this role is a single nominated and recognised deputy to the Chief Executive and this is expressly identified in the job description.

Director

This post operates at a strategic level. The postholder is one of a group of designated officers chosen to be responsible for significant functions, directorates or service areas. Often this is a designated statutory officer i.e. Director of Children's Services, Director of Adult Social Services, Monitoring Officer, Section 151 Officer or Director of Public Health, who controls or governs the affairs of a council, normally within a specialist area or a number of linked specialist areas. This role may report directly to the Chief Executive or a Corporate/Executive Director.

ADD CO Record

Epaycheck does not use the bulk upload facility for Chief Officer Roles, but requires data to be inputted manually via single (data entry) upload. This requires the determination of a number of characteristics unique to local Chief Officer Roles.

Job Code

This is the locally determined code which the council uses as a unique identifier for the role in question.

Tier

The position within the council hierarchy that a job role occupies; Tier 1 is always Chief Executive/Head of Paid Service/Managing Director (or the highest ranking position in the organisation), Tier 2 reports to Tier 1 and so on.

SECTION 4 - DATA UPLOADING & MATCHING

Bulk Upload

Super Users can use a CSV template to upload multiple lines of pay data in one bulk upload, with each line relating to a separate job. During the upload process each line of data will be 'matched' to one of the job templates in the system. This method is only available for workforce jobs (i.e. Chief Officer pay data cannot be added via a bulk upload).

Data Field

A discrete data item as defined within the Epaycheck system, which can be used for inputting data and extracting information via the reporting function e.g. Minimum Salary, Job Level etc.

Job Reference

This is the unique local job reference for each role being matched to job templates in the system. This is then linked to that role unless subsequently edited by the relevant MSU. This allows the system to recognise existing local roles being refreshed to avoid repeated matching exercises.

Job Template

The Epaycheck system contains a separate job template for every workforce job for which pay data can currently be submitted. Each job family has a separate job template for level 0, I, II and III (although some families do not have a relevant job at all these levels, e.g. Job Family X may have job templates for level 0 and I only). Each job template shows the generic responsibilities commonly found within a local authority at that level within that job family.

Local Agreement

If the employing organisation no longer links its pay rates to any relevant national pay frameworks this will need to be recorded as determined by 'Local Agreement'.

Match (M)

M indicates a full match to the responsibilities, accountabilities and competencies required for the authority's job against the job template in Epaycheck. A variation of 5% either way is still classed as a match. If a role has specific responsibilities that are bespoke to that organisation such as' fulfilling the Cherry Tree Council Service Plan', this does not preclude a match as the focus in Epaycheck is the main generic responsibilities of the job that are the key comparators or the aspects of the role that really matter.

Match Indicators

The system requires the user to define the closeness of their local role against the generic job template, using one of the codes M, M- or M+, which represent 'match indicators'.

Matching Jobs

When uploading local data to Epaycheck the data submitted for each job must initially be matched to a template before it can be accepted into the system. The addition of any new local roles will require matching at first upload.

Match Minus (M-)

M- is used to indicate that the role is less demanding than the job template. It is appropriate to select M- if up to 20% of the overall responsibilities on the job template do not apply to the local job.

Match Plus (M+)

M+ indicates that the local job is considered to be more demanding than the job template as there are up to 20% more responsibilities included in the local job.

National Negotiating Committees

The established national negotiating bodies that determine pay rates through collective agreements at a national level: NJC for Local Authority Services, JNC for Building and Civil Engineering (Craftworkers), and JNC for Chief Executives and Chief Officers.

Other Pay

Additional payments which are not expressly identified as 'allowances' within the Epaycheck System. The figure provided should be an annual amount.

Pay Award Updates

When there is a national pay award (from one of the pay negotiating groups identified within the Epaycheck system) Member Super Users will receive a system message requesting that they update the relevant pay data by a given deadline. This is achieved by downloading, amending and re-uploading the relevant data using the CSV download/upload facility. Failure to update information on a timely basis may result in restricted system access.

Record

An entry within the system containing job information and entered by a user of the system.

Recruitment/Retention Difficulty A-E

The system requires each council to identify a level of recruitment/retention difficulty for each job template against which they match data and the five levels are determined by a letter A to E.

  • A - Extremely Difficult
  • B - Very Difficult
  • C - Difficult
  • D - Some Difficulty
  • E - No Difficulty

Single Upload

After the initial bulk upload users may need to enter data on a single role and this will be done by entering job role data manually to the system without the use of a CSV template. Single (data entry) upload is also used for providing data on Chief Officer Roles.

SECTION 5 - REPORTING

Basic Pay

This reflects just the basic salary, without any additional allowances or benefits.

Chart Data

Data presented in a visual format using a graph.

Filtering

A series of commands that funnel the data required by the user using commands such as EQUALS, LESS THAN, GREATER THAN, CONTAINS or is ONE OF. This will aid users to define and narrow the output to be derived from a report in order to meet specific needs.

HTML format

Is HyperText Markup Language and is the main markup language for displaying web pages and other information that can be displayed in a web browser.

Lower Quartile

The lower quartile value is the median of the lower half of the data.

Median

The Median is the 'middle number' (in a sorted list of numbers). This differs from the mean which is a pure average of the numbers through adding up all the numbers, then dividing by how many numbers there are. The Median is used in Epaycheck as it is less distorted by figures which fall outside normal parameters.

Ordering

Within the Epaycheck reporting function, this is the way in which the identified information will be ordered within the final report e.g. maximum salaries descending.

Public Reports

A user of the system can choose to share their reports with other users (i.e. using the 'make public' functionality) if they feel it would be of benefit. These reports are then made available to other users following a series of checks by the Regional Administrator/System Administrator.

Quartiling

A quartile is data grouped together and then expressed by reference to either the median, the upper quartile or lower quartile within the overall group identified. Quartiling data is an option within the Epaycheck report builder.

Upper Quartile

The upper quartile value is the median of the upper half of the data

Total Pay

Within Epaycheck Total Pay means salary plus any other pay fields contained in the system i.e. relating to other pay related allowances attached to the job AND which have been selected by the user during the building of a specific report.