Balance Street GP Practice

Helen Sargeant, Business Manager at the Balance Street GP Surgery has been running the payroll for 40 employees for the last 12 years.

The employees at the GP Practice are all on a monthly payroll based in the one practice. Payroll makes up an invariably small but crucial part of Helen’s job role but there is still emphasis on the importance of it. Helen identified that a more streamlined payroll and auto enrolment process would ultimately make her intro to auto enrolment much easier. Already using IRIS GP Payroll, Helen turned to IRIS for help with auto enrolment. This was when she learnt about the IRIS AE Suite™ which is now helping her comply with auto enrolment on an ongoing basis. When asked about her initial thoughts of auto enrolment legislation, Helen explained that it felt like an additional burden to her and her practice.

Helen went on to say that “auto enrolment was made slightly easier by the use of the NHS Pension Scheme that we already had in place; a scheme that we always encourage other practices to join; but the overall administration and paperwork that came with auto enrolment ultimately made life increasingly more difficult.”

There were also concerns over the ongoing assessment that would need to be undertaken in order to comply with the auto enrolment legislation.

Helen explained that their GP Practice started to prepare for auto enrolment 12 months before their staging date which is in line with the recommendations made by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). Part of Helen’s planning process involved manually calculating each individual employee’s circumstances and which worker category this put them in for auto enrolment. From this, Helen could understand which employees would need to be enrolled and which were initially ineligible.

Helen also went on to say that one of the other ways of preparing for their staging was that “I attended one of the IRIS Auto Enrolment Legislation Seminars which I found to be extremely useful and definitely helped me to prepare for staging”.

The IRIS AE Suite™

Helen explained that “now that we have adopted the IRIS AE Suite™ the entire process of auto enrolment including assessing employees and distributing communications, is much more streamlined. This, means that my payroll is now a piece of cake to manage!”

When asked what her recommendations were to other GP Practices in her position, Helen explained that “without a doubt I would recommend that they use IRIS. This is because it is just not worth the time and the hassle doing it yourself when a solution like the IRIS AE Suite™ is available to do it all for you, removing the stress on an ongoing basis and manage re-enrolment in three years’ time”.

 Benefits of the IRIS AE Suite™

When asked about the tangible benefits that have been seen as a result of adopting the IRIS AE Suite™, Helen explained that “the main benefit that I have seen is definitely the amount of time that we save as a result of the IRIS AE Suite™. She explained that “In the first instance, purely the amount of time saved by using IRIS OpenPayslips to distribute payslips and P60s electronically to our employees is a lot in itself.”

Helen went on to talk about the implementation of the IRIS AE Suite™ within her software and said that it was a remote session that they had which they found extremely helpful because it helped them to set up the software correctly.

Helen went on to explain that implementing the IRIS AE Suite™ definitely cuts down completely on the 3.5 days taken to manage auto enrolment on a recurring basis as suggested by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).


Helen explained that she would recommend the IRIS AE Suite™ to other GP Practices because “the amount of time saving that can be achieved with the use of the IRIS AE Suite™ is clear, the peace of mind of not having to run assessment manually on a continuous basis is great and also the fact that it helps to keep your business compliant with the workplace pensions legislation is very important.”