Update from the Insolvency Service
Dear IP – September 2019
You will be aware that in March 2019 we introduced new case management and payments systems for Redundancy Payments Service. The past six months have been particularly challenging as the systems did not initially land as smoothly as we would have hoped due to several technical and integration issues.
I wanted to write to you to apologise for inconvenience and additional work this may have caused you. I also want to update you on what we have been doing to work through claims and associated queries, and get back to our usual service standards.
I would like to start by saying we have made over 60,000 payments with a total value of almost £140 million through our new systems. A small number of issues are still being worked through; I would like to update you on some specifics.
We have resolved most technical issues affecting claims processing and are much closer to processing cases in the timescales we usually aim for. At the time of writing, almost 90% of RP1 claims awaiting processing are from August or September 2019. We are committed to processing older claims first and are confident that within a matter of weeks we will be operating at 95% of claims being processed within 6 weeks.
When you set a new case up, please ensure that it is listed as “insolvent” rather than “solvent”. Claims on solvent cases will be automatically rejected.
In order to focus on processing claims, we’ve temporarily changed the opening hours of our Helpline. Lines are open for claimants from 9am to 1pm weekdays. The IP helpline continues to remain open all day. If you need to contact us, please call between 1pm and 5pm, when call queues will be much shorter. Please do not give the IP helpline number directly to claimants as we are not resourced to handle their queries on that line.
This approach has significantly reduced call wait times for claimants and has enabled us to deal with emails and process claims more quickly.
Proofs of Debt
Following an initial pause (enabling skilled resource to focus on claims, payments and enquiries), we have now resumed work on proofs of debt for cases with payments made before 17 March 2019. On receipt of new proofs of debt, you may notice they are now in an excel format, as requested by you and your representatives. We have taken on board further feedback about the presentation of reports and are making more improvements.
We are working through technical issues which impact on cases processed on our new system, ie post 17 March 2019. We expect to have a resolution very soon and we will let you know as soon as we are able to start processing these proofs of debt.
Cases with payments made both before and after 17 March 2019 present their own challenges, which we are working on resolving. When you do receive a proof of debt for a case like this, please note that the data will be displayed differently depending on which case management system they were paid by.
Again, in order to prioritise claims, payments and enquiries, we had put a temporary hold on processing pension payments in all but urgent situations.
We have now started to work through the outstanding pension claims. I expect that we will have processed all outstanding pension claims over the next 8 weeks. I am extremely grateful for your patience here, and would ask that you continue to refrain from contacting us on anything but the most urgent cases to allow us to process the backlog as quickly as possible.
Technical issues with Protective Awards (PAs) have now been resolved and over 5,000 payments have been made this financial year. I know that some cases have experienced delays, for which I sincerely apologise. We are now paying most PA claims within our 3 month target. Also, we are now automatically paying the best eight weeks PA to claimants.
Continuity of Service
An issue remains relating to the way claims involving continuity of service are being handled. Our system automatically limits claims to the date of the employer’s incorporation unless we have approval to include previous service. We are working to correct errors where they occur, and will let you know once this has been resolved.
Insolvency Practitioner Upload Service (IPUS)
Thanks for your patience while we rolled out this new system. After a few teething issues the service is now working well, and there have already been 4,073 successful RP14A uploads with over 78,000 lines of claim information.
Following your feedback, we recently added an auto email receipt, which will be issued each time you upload an RP14/14A. You can find further guidance on how to use the IPUS here:https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/redundancy-payment-forms-and-guidance-for-insolvency-practitioners
I want to close by again apologising for the disruption and poor service you may have experienced. My team remain focused on, and dedicated to, dealing professionally with yourselves and our customers. I am confident that we will be operating at our usual high standards of service across all areas very soon.
If in the meantime you have any feedback or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Director of Business Services