Redundancy Payments – Alpha Assessment

The report from the alpha assessment for Insolvency Service's Redundancy Payments service on 18 December 2013.

Department / Agency:
BIS / Insolvency Service

Date of Assessment:
18/12/2013

Moving to:
Private Beta

Result:
Met

Lead Assessor:
N. Williams

Service Manager:
G. Ecart

Digital Leader:
C. Smith


About the service

When an employer becomes insolvent employees are often owed money (especially for redundancy pay). The Redundancy Payments Service processes claims for statutory redundancy payments, which are paid from the National Insurance Fund (NIF). The current claim process is largely paper based, which leads to unnecessary cost and increased potential for errors and delays. The scope of the exemplar is to create a digital claim process that will reduce the handling of paper, identify potential problems within claims so that they may be resolved more quickly, and increase confidence and trust in the system for both claimants and insolvency practitioners.
https://www.gov.uk/transformation/redundancy-payment

Outcome of service assessment

The Redundancy Payments Service is seeking permission to continue development as it moves from Alpha to Private Beta.

We are pleased to say that the Redundancy Payments Service has passed the service assessment. The service has shown sufficient evidence that it has either met, or is on track to meet the 17 pre-April 2014 criteria of the Digital by Default Service Standard.

Recommendations

As the service moves into the private beta phase, the Government Digital Service (GDS) strongly recommend the following.

  • The service must be tested frequently with claimants in real world conditions, as their heightened emotional state from being made redundant will have a significant impact on their experience and ability to process what is being asked of them.

  • The service team should seek input from GDS designers and content designers, to ensure the content and information design follows GOV.UK style and design patterns.

  • The team must come to an evidence-based decision about what browsers and devices the service will support, and ensure browser testing takes place. (GDS’ feeling is that it will be important to provide a good mobile experience for claimants, but the Redundancy Payments service should form an evidence-based plan).

  • Analytics software must be put in place early, so that the service can be iterated upon based on this data in addition to planned user research. The Redundancy Payments service should ensure that each step of the user journey is measured, and the data is interpreted, so that drop-out points and other problems can be identified and fixed.

  • The new hosting arrangements needed to support continuous deployment must come to fruition. It is essential that the team which owns the service is able to deploy code rapidly in response to user needs.

  • A privacy assessment must be conducted.

As the service moves beyond private beta and begins to be used in the public domain, it will be important to have robust disaster recovery arrangements in place.

Next steps

The Redundancy Payments service should follow the recommendations made in this report and see the Government Service Design Manual for further guidance.

Summary

There was compelling evidence that the Redundancy Payments service is being developed with a focus on meeting its users’ needs. GDS were also convinced that the team has the skills and tools to continue to iterate the service. It was particularly encouraging to hear that, the service manager is fully empowered to make decisions about the service using evidence as the basis for those decisions; and that there is commitment from the team and strong senior support for putting the right hosting infrastructure and operations in place to allow for rapid, continuous improvement of the service.

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