The Natural History Museum now has access to a fully-managed payroll service that makes sense financially, and is backed up by NorthgateArinso's payroll expertise.
The Natural History Museum is much more than one of London’s top tourist attractions: it is in fact one of the world’s foremost resources for natural science, with magnificent collections and groundbreaking research expertise. The Museum’s status as a Non Departmental Public Body allows it to operate with a reasonable degree of independence from the government, while maintaining the valuable sponsorship of the Department for Culture Media and Sport.
To take over from the previous provider in delivering a fully-outsourced payroll service.
The Museum outsources all of its Payroll needs to NorthgateArinso, including the monthly payroll run, the production of payslips, making statutory payments, and expertise to ensure ongoing compliance with legislation.
• The sourcing of a fully-managed Payroll service that would be financially unviable as an in-house service.
• Access to payroll expertise from a leading specialist - and a service provided by a supplier that understands the specific needs of a government-sponsored organisation.
• Minimal internal resources required as every aspect of the Payroll service is provided by NorthgateArinso.
The Natural History Museum looked for a new Payroll service provider when its previous supplier announced that it would be withdrawing from the market. The Museum looked for a provider that, in addition to the required Payroll infrastructure, had an understanding of the particular needs of public sector clients. NorthgateArinso were subsequently selected and an implementation programme put in place.
David Williams, Personnel Services Manager at the Natural History Museum is clear about why the Museum prefers an outsourced arrangement: “We simply couldn’t make a financial case for running an internal Payroll
team. Our team of three in the Personnel Department is able to handle some of the tasks, such as gathering information about starters, leavers and so on. But we are able toaccess a fully-managed Payroll service that
makes sense financially and avoids the need to allocate management resources to an internal solution.”
A smooth implementation
The provision of Payroll services by NorthgateArinso for the Museum began in November 2004 with a managed handover from the previous supplier. David Williams explains: “I was impressed with the way that the implementation was organised and implemented. The NorthgateArinso team was very flexible, listening to our needs and making sure that the service would meet them. They also arranged four months of parallel running of the previous and new Payrolls to make sure that the implementation was a success.”
The Museum has accessed some essential service capabilities from NorthgateArinso. These include the flexibility to include a significant number of fee-paid people (rather than salaried employees) in each pay run. That’s important, because the Museum counts a large number of people who are employed ‘as and when’ required among the 800 or so who are paid each month. NorthgateArinso also works for a number of other public sector clients, so the team understands specific issues such as civil service terms and conditions.
Another example of NorthgateArinso flexibility was the way that they responded to a request for process changes as a result of a policy change within the Museum. The change concerned the rules concerning sick pay entitlement, covering for example the eligibility of new staff to sick pay in addition to statutory sick pay. “NorthgateArinso have dealt with the change very well,” says David Williams.
As well as day-to-day service provision, NorthgateArinso also act as the Museum’s Payroll experts, monitoring legislation changes, tax changes and so on that need to be reflected in the way the Payroll service is managed. It’s another way that the outsourcing arrangement relieves the small Museum personnel department of workload.
The Natural History Museum points to a good working relationship with NorthgateArinso. “We meet with them maybe four times a year,” explains David Williams. “The meetings are short and focused on what we need to discuss, but nevertheless are effective in monitoring the relationship and handling any matters that need addressing. It doesn’t take up much of my time, and in any case any issues that crop up between meetings are raised and dealt with very quickly.”