Next generation human resources and pay system for the public service

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In early 2018, a Next Generation Human Resources and Pay team (NextGen HR and Pay) was established at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) to explore a future HR and pay solution for the Government of Canada. The HR and pay solution will be a digital solution that is mobile and accessible and will be built on the foundation of users’ needs and modern people management processes.

The NextGen team was transferred from TBS to Shared Services Canada (SSC) on April 1, 2020. The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) at TBS remains the HR and pay business owner as well as the lead on other GC HR transformation initiatives. As the Government of Canada lead on human resources and information management and information technology, TBS will continue to have an integrated role in the success of this initiative as a key partner for expertise and strategic advice. SSC is well-positioned to deliver on this important project as the department is responsible for providing modern, secure and reliable IT services that enable digital programs and services for public servants and Canadians.

The NextGen team will work collaboratively to test solutions for a reliable, integrated HR and pay solution for the Government of Canada while keeping the people who will be using this new system at the core of our mandate.

Read more about the government’s plans to move away from Phoenix, and towards an HR and pay solution that meets the needs of the Government of Canada below.

First NextGen Exploratory Phase with Canadian Heritage

In October 2020 the NextGen team began work with Canadian Heritage on the first exploratory phase of this project. Learnings and results from this exploratory phase will help inform and define the way forward.

As this is an iterative process where each step will inform the next, the exact dates for the future phases have yet not been determined. The exploratory phase is expected to last approximately six months, however, this timeframe could be shortened or lengthened depending on the findings. In this phase, the NextGen team will develop work products such as a business case, privacy impact assessment, change management and other planning considerations.

This approach reflects the government’s key digital principles — such as being open and iterative — based on modern best practices and lessons learned. The government is taking the time required to deliver a new system will work with the complexities of government human resources and pay. The NextGen team will continue to communicate openly on the status of this initiative and to engage regularly with employees and other stakeholders.

The exploratory phase will not affect employee’s pay. It will occur in a controlled environment that is separate from Phoenix. Canadian Heritage employees will continue to be paid through the Phoenix pay system while testing is completed.

Canadian Heritage was selected as the first exploratory phase Department because their organization provides a good representation of the government’s human resources complexities, including multiple occupational groups, regional representation, overtime, and other considerations.

Engagement update

Since the beginning of the exploratory phase in October 2020 the NextGen team has made progress on engagement with HR and pay stakeholders. The NextGen team has engaged with more 890 participants from 20 federal organizations in engagement activities that include workshops, working sessions and user research with HR and pay practitioners, end users, and technical experts. Leadership interviews have also been conducted with senior executives to gather their perspectives on the current and future operations of HR and pay teams. These engagement activities are providing the NextGen team with valuable information that will inform the next steps for the NextGen initiative.

Expansion of Pilot to New Departments

The NextGen HR and Pay initiative continues to advance. On July 27, 2021, the expansion of the pilot to additional government departments was announced by the Government of Canada. This follows the successful completion of the Exploratory Phase, which took place from October 2020 to April 2021.  

Canadian Heritage was selected for the first pilot because the organization provides a modest representation of the government’s human resources complexities. Work will continue with Canadian Heritage.

To better understand the complexities of the  human resources and pay systems in other federal departments, the pilot is now being expanded to test with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. Testing will take place in a controlled environment.

The pilot will also include Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED-Q) to ensure an effective user experience in French and confirm a product that works effectively in both official languages.

The pilot with CED-Q also allows the NextGen HR and Pay team to confirm that small and regional government organizations with headquarters outside of the National Capital Region will be served equally by the proposed software.

Throughout the Exploratory Phase, more than 890 participants from 20 federal organizations took part in engagement forums including 38 workshops and 90 working sessions. In total, there were more than 180 hours of workshops, 170 hours of working and follow-up sessions, and 2,400 workshop people hours. Learnings and results from the Exploratory Phase will continue to inform and define the way forward.

The NextGen HR and Pay team continues to engage with employees and HR advisors who use the system, as well as with bargaining agents, in the development of a user-centric HR and Pay solution. Extensive consultation will continue throughout this initiative.

Using an agile and iterative approach, the NextGen HR and Pay team remains committed to taking the necessary time to let each step in the process inform the next.

Working in the open

The NextGen team has committed to working in the open by sharing our documents. While work continues to advance on the NextGen initiative, these documents will be posted publicly on the NextGen Wiki.

Join the conversation

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