Awarded to Solirius Consulting

Start date: Monday 4 January 2021
Value: £90,000
Company size: SME
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Shared Parental Leave and Pay Tool Public Beta Support

6 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 0 large

6 Completed applications

6 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Thursday 22 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 29 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 5 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We are seeking a supplier to prepare, maintain and further develop a digital service on GOV.UK which helps employees check eligibility for Shared Parental Leave and Pay and plan leave. We require a multidisciplinary team to use research, feedback and analytics, improve the tool and deliver the best user experience.
Latest start date
Monday 4 January 2021
Expected contract length
An anticipated duration of up to 24 months, to be reviewed at 12 months
Organisation the work is for
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Budget range
The total maximum contract value shall not exceed £90,000.00 ex VAT. Suppliers should provide full and detailed breakdowns of costs. This should include staff (and day rates) allocated to specific tasks.

Competitive costing will be a criterion against which bids which will be assessed.

Payments will be linked to delivery of key milestones. The indicative milestones and phasing of payments will depend on your project plan.

About the work

Why the work is being done
This work supports the aspiration to make Shared Parental Leave and Pay easier for employees to access, and provide a starting point for discussions with their employers. Our overarching aim is to improve take-up of Shared Parental Leave and Pay and we are keen to eliminate barriers to take-up that can be addressed quickly and simply, for example by making the scheme easier to understand and consequently more accessible to parents.

We have a fully functioning offline beta version of the tool which is now ready to move into public beta. The supplier we are looking for would need to be ready to start straight away so that we can prepare to launch the tool on by end 2020.
Problem to be solved
Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) allow eligible parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year of their child’s life (or within 52 weeks of placement for adoption). The scheme is only available to working couples and each parent must meet certain (different) conditions (even if only one parent is eligible to take leave and pay). The scheme is key to supporting female participation in the labour market and closing the gender pay gap.

Shared Parental Leave and Pay was introduced in April 2015 and at that time we estimated that take up would be in the region of 2-8% of eligible parents. Data provided by employers to HMRC suggest that take-up of ShPP is at the lower end of this estimate. The discovery phase of this project confirmed the need for an online service to help overcome barriers to take-up.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As an expectant or new mother, I need to know what my entitlements to leave and pay are and understand the effect of ending maternity entitlements early (i.e. taking less than 52 weeks of leave and/or less than 39 weeks of pay) and sharing my leave and pay, so I can decide what works best for me and my partner, and discuss this with my employer.

As someone planning to adopt a child, I need to know what my entitlements to leave and pay are and understand the effect of ending adoption entitlements early (i.e. taking less than 52 weeks of leave and/or less than 39 weeks of pay) and sharing my leave and pay, so I can decide what works best for me and my partner, and discuss this with my employer

As the partner of a new or expectant mother (or adopter), I need to understand what leave and pay is available to me, so I can request this from my employer.

As an employer, although I do not use this tool directly, I need to understand what leave and pay my employee is planning so that I can discus and make plans for their absence from work.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
In 2019, BEIS appointed a supplier to scope and deliver the discovery and alpha phases of a project to deliver an online service that would make Shared Parental Leave and Shared Parental Pay more accessible to parents.

Following the discovery phase, the supplier commenced an 8-week alpha phase in which they created and user-tested prototypes. The final version of the tool was developed during the subsequent private beta phase.
Existing team
Our preference is to work with one supplier who is able to provide the range of expertise needed.

The BEIS project team consists of:
- Senior Responsible Owner (SRO)
- Service Manager
- Delivery Manager

The SRO provides senior management oversight and a link to the Senior Management Team.

The Service Manager has the necessary expertise and authority to make decisions and ensure the project meets business needs and is delivered in accordance with agreed business requirements.

The Delivery Manager is the main contact with the supplier and provides day to day monitoring of progress.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Due to the ongoing pandemic, this project will be conducted remotely using productivity solutions such as Microsoft Teams. The team has experience of delivering agile projects remotely having successfully completed the previous phase in a similar way.

We will keep working arrangements under review during this phase and make adjustments as needed. BEIS requests the option to review the work as it progresses, in order to react to any issues which may arise. The BEIS policy lead and delivery manager will be available to pick up issues with the supplier.
Working arrangements
We will be working together remotely and expect a transparent and collaborative approach to working with you. We would expect all the usual agile ceremonies to be conducted regardless of work-mode including daily team stand-ups, end of sprint show and tells with a wide selection of stakeholders, regular discussions between our lead and yours, end of sprint retrospectives etc. In the previous phase we were successful at running these using Microsoft Teams and other online collaboration tools. For virtual thought and whiteboard collaboration BEIS currently recommends Microsoft Whiteboard or any other suggestions subject to security clearance.
Security clearance
Basic Personal Security Clearance (BPSC)

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • have recent experience of launching services on GOV.UK and have an understanding of GOV.UK and Digital Service Standards
  • have recent experience of using an analytics framework to maintain and develop a service on GOV.UK
  • have recent experience of working with Government and collaborating with GDS
  • have the expertise and experience to analyse and improve the user experience of a tool in use on GOV.UK
  • have experience and expertise in front and back end development, using NodeJS or similar
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • have experience of working with family-related leave and pay policy or similar complex human resource policy
  • have knowledge and experience of working in an agile environment

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Show how your proposed team’s technical expertise, solution, approach and methodology will ensure the successful delivery of this project
  • Outline the proposed team structure and staff expertise
  • Provide a project plan and timescale for the work
  • Detail plans for knowledge transfer
  • Provide details of the key risks and a plan for mitigating against them
  • Other requirements set out in the request for proposal
Cultural fit criteria
  • be able to work as a team with BEIS and demonstrate effective collaboration while working 100% remotely
  • be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • share knowledge and experience with BEIS team
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Would you be looking for a team or an individual? If team, what do you require
Both teams and individuals are welcome to apply. However, we would require expertise in development, user testing, performance analysis and documentation so individuals should make sure they can offer all of these skills
2. Could you please confirm that the maximum budget is £90k over 2 years?
We can confirm that the maximum budget is £90k and the anticipated length of the contract is 2 years. This is intended primarily to cover maintenance while the service is in use and some continuous improvement/further refinement of the service based on analytics and feedback
3. Which development tools / application(s) were used to develop the Beta SPL solution?
The Beta SPL tool is an HTML/Node.js application developed using IntelliJ. The Node.js application uses Nunjucks and Vue.js
4. Does the SPL tool interface to a back-end HCM application? If so what is the HCM application
There is no back-end system, all logic is baked into the Node Apps