This assessment covers the "Claim for Loss of Notice" component of the Redundancy Payments service. All employees, by law, are entitled to receive advanced notice of their redundancy, with the period of notice based on their length of service. Where this has not been given and their employer cannot or refuses to pay, then a compensation claim for loss of notice can be made by ex-employees using the online Redundancy Payments service.
Department / Agency:
BIS / IS
Date of Assessment:
Result of Assessment:
The Claim for Loss of Notice service (the second stage of the two-stage Redundancy Payments service) is seeking permission to launch on a service.gov.uk domain as a Beta service.
Outcome of service assessment
After consideration the assessment panel have concluded the Claim for Loss of Notice service has shown sufficient progress and evidence of meeting the Digital by Default Service Standard criteria and should proceed to launch as a Beta service on a service.gov.uk domain.
The team presented strong evidence that the service has been developed to meet well understood user needs, has been iterated to meet those needs better as more has been learnt about the needs of users, and that the service team has the skills and is empowered to support and continually improve the service.
The panel agrees with the team’s assertion that making this second part of the Redundancy Payments service available in Beta on the service.gov.uk domain alongside the existing paper form will immediately benefit users. It was also clear that the service team now needs to see this part of the service being used in anger in order to learn more about demand for Assisted Digital support both for this and for the first stage of the service, and to get validated learnings about further improvements to the second stage.
As early as possible during the Beta, and prior to coming to a Live assessment, the service must address all of the following points.
The assessment panel had concerns that the service team may struggle to support and iterate this second part of the service in response to user feedback during the Beta, while also continuing to develop the first part of the service. The team's plan to allocate 25% of the team for iterating the Claim for Loss of Notice service is a very good approach, but 25% of the current team strength is likely to be too little. The panel will expect to see iteration between now and the Live assessment, and recommend that the team considers growing by 1-2 developers from now until both parts of the service are fully live.
The service team must ensure appropriate Assisted Digital (AD) support is in place as the parallel paper service is wound down, and the service moves towards its target of 90% digital take up. In particular the panel asks that, before the next service assessment, the team:
- Revisits its conclusions around support plans and volume estimates where they have been drawn from data that includes online surveys. (Online survey respondents are much more likely to not require AD support and therefore do not represent the needs of more vulnerable users).
- Ensures that AD support is in place for users currently relying on friends and family.
- Gathers evidence that the full end-to-end user journey (from when the user starts to seek information about the service through to when they complete it) has been considered and tested.
- Ensure there is sufficient quantitative data alongside anecdotal information to back up decisions made around AD support. The team should also develop a full range of AD user personas from their work with actual users, and use these for ongoing research and planning.
- Gathers evidence that third party support meets users’ needs, has sufficient capacity to deal regionally with peak demand, and is sustainable. The service team should consider a wider range of support providers, if required.
- Gathers evidence how digital inclusion will be delivered during phone support.
- Specifies how many transactions are expected across each channel, and their cost per minute.
The service team must work with the digital take-up team at GDS to ensure the ambitious plans to achieve 90% digital take up within months of the service going live are achievable.
As part of moving to a service domain, the service team will need to remove all the guidance information from the first page of the service and work with GDS to include it on a GOV.UK start page. The service must start and end on GOV.UK. It was suggested in the assessment that had the service not passed, it could be launched regardless on a .org.uk domain. The team should be aware that this approach would be in conflict with the Cabinet Office spend controls process.
The panel were pleased to hear about plans to open source the form builder component (named Dumbledore). The service team expects this will be completed by the time of the Live assessment. The panel encourages the team to continue to explore the potential to publish as much of the service’s code in the open as possible.
It was noted that the date entry field pattern used had caused issues with some users on other projects. It was recommended that the team look at the latest pattern on GOV.UK elements using the work that led to it (see https://github.com/alphagov/govuk_elements/pull/47) as reference for any changes.
The team explained the service produces PDFs to fulfil a requirement for paper-based documents. It was suggested that the team investigate publishing these in a HTML format, similar to those on GOV.UK (see https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2013/03/28/html-publications/). This would ensure they were usable by default for users of assistive technology.
The service team has made a good start by getting analytics installed and goals configured, and has some good ideas for future analytics iterations; however, there has not been the volume of traffic to enable the team to use data to make improvements to the service. By the time of the Live assessment, the panel would expect the team to be able to demonstrate how analytics is embedded in the service planning.
The service overall
The assessment panel felt it important to mention that the long term roadmap for the Redundancy Payments service overall needs to include plans for joining it up with other government services. The service currently requires users to supply information which government already holds, such as receipt of, or refusal of benefits.
Digital by Default Service Standard criteria