April HRIS User Bulletin

Key Dates and Deadlines

News, Updates & Reminders for Personnel Users

News, Updates & Reminders for Recruitment Users

HRIS User Support Arrangements

Payroll Project

Key Dates and Deadlines

Quick Reference Guides and support documents

Updated Quick Reference Guides

REC03 Manage Online Applications – updated to reflect the decision to switch off the overnight process for PDF generation (see below).

News, Updates & Reminders for Personnel Users

New miscellaneous allowances

In order to provide departments with greater flexibility when recording multiple allowances, we have introduced a further four miscellaneous allowance codes.

A total of eight miscellaneous allowance codes are now available in Core (four pensionable and four non-pensionable).

Miscellaneous allowances are useful in the following situations:

  • If a monthly amount needs to be paid and none of the existing allowances listed in Core are appropriate (be aware that this may need approval from the Reward Team and is likely to be queried by the Payroll team).
  • If you have an allowance which needs to be split across several cost allocations which are different to the cost allocations of the salary (system constraints prevent the recording of multiple allowances of the same type so another allowance type will need to be used for subsequent cost allocations).

When setting up new allowances in Core please refer to the Allowance Guide, Quick Reference Guide CH4: Change New Allowance or the HRIS Support Centre.

Quick Reference Guides and support documents

New Quick Reference Guides

PA6: Managing Casual Workers – clarifies what departments should do in relation to casual workers and when/how to communicate with the Payroll team.

CH23: Manage Changes: Special Leave – details how to make the required updates to an employee’s appointment(s) when they have a period of special leave (paid or unpaid).

IP8: Maintain Academic Listing (White Book) Data – explains how to capture additional information required for certain academic appointments for inclusion in the academic staff listing (white book) report.

 Updated Quick Reference Guides

PA2e: Transfer (New Department) – various changes, please refer to front-page “post- it” for details.

PA2f: Transfer (Within Department) – various changes, please refer to front-page “post- it” for details.

EA2: Ending one of Multiple Appointments – section added on managing secondary fixed term appointments.

PA3: Setting up Casual Teaching Appointments – minor updates, please refer to front-page “post- it” for details.

IP3: Manage IPOs – link to relevant report added.

PA2d: Appoint Rehire – note add regarding the new warning message (for RTI changes – see item on RTI below).

CH3: Manage Changes: Hours –updated guidance on allowance multiplier.

PA2h: Setting Up a Non-employee – section added regarding the need to approve the zero salary line.

Updated Support Documents

Allowance Guide – updated to show new miscellaneous allowance codes (see item below).

Coming soon - new correspondence functionality for variable hours

We are currently in the process of updating the conditional offer letter and contract templates to enable them to be generated for variable hours employees, removing the need to paste in the required wording on hours of work. We will notify all users by e-mail when the new templates are available to download – expected to be the first week in May.

Deadlines for Personnel Users: May Payroll

Please note, each of the following deadlines is subject to change depending on the outcome of the Payroll Project April parallel run. As outlined in the Payroll Briefing sessions, deadlines may be brought forward by 2 days. You will be updated on this toward the end of April.




Payroll deadline

Friday 10 May

An overview of Payroll deadlines can be found on the Finance website. (which now applies equally to casual workers).

Staff request deadline

Friday 3 May

For staff requests which do not require grading, any requests received by 5 pm on Friday 3 May will be processed by midday on Wednesday 8 May. Staff requests received after Friday 3 May are not guaranteed to be processed by the payroll deadline. The usual turnaround timings for gradings apply (ten working days).

Support requests for May payroll

Wednesday 8 May

Requests for assistance associated with pay arrangements in May should be received by the HRIS Support Centre by 3 p.m. on 8 May.  This is to ensure that sufficient time is available for the team to address your queries ahead of the Friday 10 May deadline.

HRIS Data Services users only: payroll cut off

Wednesday 8 May 

Payroll forms should be submitted by 5pm on 8 May.  This is to ensure sufficient time for the HRIS Data Services team to process them for the standard payroll deadline and resolve any queries.


Reminder – no updates to CorePersonnel 22-26 April

As detailed in March’s User Bulletin, unless we contact you directly, please do not make any updates to data in the back office Personnel module during the period Monday 22 April – Friday 26 April inclusive.  This is to enable comprehensive checks to be undertaken at this critical point in the project timetable.  You will be able to start processing actions for the May payroll from Monday 29 April.  You can continue to use staff requests, reports, and the recruitment and training modules throughout this period.

Important note: should you become aware of any leavers during this week that need to be processed in the April payroll, please contact your payroll officer directly.  They will advise you of next steps

News, Updates & Reminders for Recruitment Users

Update - overnight process for PDF generation switched off

In February’s User Bulletin we outlined the decision to trial switching off the overnight process to convert job applications to PDF format. This action was taken to address the number of reported PDF conversion errors and issues relating to the ongoing support of the server. These issues occurred due to problems with uploaded attachments, including password protected documents, large image files embedded in documents, and track changes.

During the last two months we have monitored the process and noted a significant decrease in the number of issues encountered. Departments are now benefiting, from a reduction in the number of occasions where you are unable to generate PDF packs.   In addition, with less time being spent supporting the server, we can free up resources to work on other user support issues, which in turn should mean improved support times.

As a result of this assessment a decision has been made not to reinstate the overnight process. This means that PDF applications will not be automatically generated prior to the closing deadline and you will need to continue manually converting applications via the ‘Generate Applications’ screen, as described in the Quick Reference Guide REC03 Manage Online Applications.

Auto-enrolment for pensions – additional data capture for new starters

In preparation for the implementation of pension auto-enrolment there are some key pieces of information that it is important to remember to collect and capture in Core for all new starters:

  • Email address for all new starters. This must also be recorded for casuals – please complete on the casual payments form and Payroll will update the Core record. If a work e-mail address is not available, please provide a home e-mail and Payroll will populate the default e-mail field with this information.
  • Home address and date of birth.

HESA alert! - Ending an Appointment/ leaving the university

Please note that it is important that you complete both 'Leaving Reason' and 'Leaving Destination' codes with something other than 'Not Known', wherever possible. The HESA return from the University will be rejected if the number of records exceeds the 'not known' threshold as defined by HESA. As things stand we are in danger of falling below this threshold. If this is the case by 31 July then we shall need to come back to you and ask you to revisit records already coded as 'Not known' and provide us with another coding option. 

HESA 2012-13 – staff data collection exercise

As you may be aware the HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) staff return is now the responsibility of Personnel Services. This year’s return includes a number of new data items and as a result a data collection exercise is due to take place between May and July this year. Where possible, staff within Personnel Services will derive HESA data, however, where derivation is not possible, data collection will be required.

The Core Personnel module contains the HESA module, and work is now taking place to configure and test the module for this year’s return. However, as data collection needs to take place whilst the configuration and testing is underway, it will be necessary for this data collection exercise to be undertaken via Excel rather than direct data entry to Core. Spreadsheets will be sent out in early May, for completion and return to the Workforce Information Team by mid-July.

Below are details of some of the information we will be asking for you to collect/validate for some staff, as required by HESA:

  • Nationality
  • Academic Teaching Qualifications
  • Activity and location after leaving the university
  • Early career researcher status
  • Research Assistant indicator
  • Current academic disciplines being taught/researched
  • Activity – a more granular version of ‘Staff classification’ categorisation
  • For clinical staff – Clinical Status, Healthcare Professional specialty, Clinical sub-specialty, NHS Contract type, NHS Contract Grade

In addition, we will also include a data collection request relating to the Real Time Information (RTI) requirements as defined by HM Revenue & Customs (see item on RTI below).

Please be assured that Core software, processes and Quick Reference Guides will be updated in time for the 2013-14 HESA return so that going forwards we can then collect this data as part of normal data processing routines.

If you have any queries at this stage please email either hr.reporting@admin.ox.ac.uk or contact Liz Mitchell, Head of HR Information, Personnel Services at: liz.mitchell@admin.ox.ac.uk, or call (2)89928.

HRIS User Support Arrangements

User Bulletin Archive

HRIS User Bulletins issued in previous years are now available in a new online archive

HRIS Support Centre

Contact details for the team are:  hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. 

Communications timeline

In March’s User Bulletin we provided a detailed update on the Payroll Project and the actions required from departments to support us in meeting the criteria for Payroll go-live. April is a critical month for the Payroll Project and we will be keeping you updated on progress as follows:

9-18 April  Payroll Briefings
w/c 29 April Special Payroll User Bulletin – will be distributed to all users and other interested parties to communicate the decision made with regard to proceeding with Payroll go-live in May, along with information about the impact on users.
w/c 13 May May User Bulletin – will clarify the latest position and provide an update on any actions required from users.

Payroll Project

Real Time Information – impact on users

The University is currently making preparations to ensure compliance with new HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) reporting requirements, which requires all employers to report PAYE information in real time (referred to as Real Time Information - or RTI).

Colleges went live with RTI on 1 April and, in readiness for this, additional functionality was applied to Core Personnel during the Easter break. At this stage, the only impact for departmental users relates to the process for rehires, as follows:

When appointing a rehire, as part of the appointment wizard, Core may display a warning message that you may not have seen before. If you experience this, please contact the HRIS Support Centre (2) 87900 for further guidance on processing your rehire.

The University will go live with RTI in June. In order to ensure compliance with these new HMRC requirements we will need to begin capturing and reporting on a number of new data items. Departments will be contacted in early May and asked to provide this information alongside the HESA data collection exercise as described above.

Auto-enrolment for pensions - new webpage

Further to the recent briefings and communications to staff about the new auto-enrolment for pensions regulations, the pensions website now hosts an area of information for managers, which includes downloadable versions of the briefing slides, communications to staff, the poster for noticeboards, and some general information.

The website also provides details of the communications that were sent to all employees on 4 March, along with information for managers/departmental administrators regarding the need to ensure all employees on maternity leave or other long term absence receive an appropriate communication.

Please also note that every time a new contract of employment is issued a new pensions enrolment action will be prompted (see the Staff Request and Contract Decision Matrix for further information about when a new contract/staff request is needed).  It is important therefore, when issuing a new contract to an existing member of staff, to advise them that they will be enrolled if they are not currently a pension scheme member.