April HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

Projects Update

Data Quality

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines

News and reminders

Planned downtime – USS interface update

We are currently planning for an essential update to the USS pension scheme interface. This will require up to half a day of system downtime across all modules. We are aiming to implement this on 25 April, during the usual “no user input” period for Personnel users, thereby minimising disruption. Further information, including the impact on job applicants, will be sent to all users by e-mail as soon as the details have been confirmed.

We recognise that recently, the amount of planned downtime required has been relatively high for HRIS and that this has an impact for the operations of all users of the system. As with all planned downtime, this activity is being carefully scheduled to minimise disruption to departments as far as possible whilst also ensuring that the obligations of the University are fully met. Decisions to have system downtime are not taken lightly and we always strive to keep these and the related disruption to departmental processes to the absolute minimum. We will only schedule downtimes where tasks are critical or of sufficient wider benefit to warrant the related disruption to our users. 

We would like to thank you for your patience and support.

Remember to enter the approval reference on allowances

For allowances requiring approval from the Reward team, please ensure that you quote the reference code provided by the Reward team in the comments field when entering the allowance in Core. This includes Market pay, On-call and standby, Variable Shift patterns and Responsibility percent premium for support staff. This will enable Payroll to authorise your allowance as swiftly as possible. Please follow QRG CH4 New and changes to allowances for further guidance.

Transfers after the payroll deadline

If you are transferring an employee after the payroll deadline and the effective date of the transfer is during or earlier than the current payroll month, you must contact your payroll administrator to check that there is enough time to complete the transfer before you begin the process. If you begin the transfer process and there is insufficient time to complete all the steps, the employee will not be paid from the effective date of the transfer.

Diacritics on employee records

Diacritic characters in names and addresses in Core cannot be processed by Payroll because HMRC do not accept them for the monthly Real Time Information (RTI) returns and some are not compatible with the BACS system. HMRC have advised us that they do not have any plans to update their systems to accept diacritics in the foreseeable future. Please therefore remove any diacritics from employee records in the Personnel system when processing new starters and changes to existing employee records.

New location, action and reason codes for employees working overseas

In order to enable us to accurately identify and report on employees who are working overseas we have introduced three new location codes that are required by payroll for tax purposes:

* EEA country

* Bilateral Social Security country

* Other (non-EEA /non-bilateral agreement) 

Further information about these codes can be found on the HMRC website .

We have also updated the existing action and reason codes and introduced two new codes as follows:

Action codes:

Working Overseas (new)

New Appointment Working Overseas (new)

 Reason codes:

Working Overseas (new)

Working Overseas Start (was Working Abroad Start)

Working Overseas Return (was Working Abroad Return)


These are required to enable us to distinguish between employees who are recruited from and work solely overseas from those who have been recruited in the UK and later transfer overseas as part of their job role. QRG PA5 Working overseas has been updated accordingly.

Current appointments with the reason codes Working Abroad Start and Working Abroad Return will automatically be updated to Working Overseas Start and Working Overseas Return.

Action required by departments

All appointments where the location is currently set to ‘Working Abroad’ need to be amended to one of the new location codes.  In order to identify the employees affected, run and export report PERDEP01 then filter on the location ‘Working Overseas’. Amend the current appointment sequence to the relevant location code and enter comments noting the change. Refer to QRG IP6 Tracking changes and correcting records, Section E for guidance on updating an existing appointment sequence. If the employee has changed from one location to another during their current appointment please contact the HRIS support centre for guidance.

Any current appointments where the employee is working abroad but the location has not been updated should also be amended following the same guidance.

Please make any required changes as soon as possible and by 31 May 2016 at the latest.

New Discoverer report – Uniforum project

A new report is due to be released to CoreHR users in May 2016. The report is intended to assist departments in the checking and preparation of data for the Uniforum staff data collection which is due to take place on a University-wide basis later this year. For background information on the project itself please go to www.ox.ac.uk/uniforum. The project will be coordinated by PRAS and full briefings to contacts in departments will be rolled out during Trinity Term, in advance of the collection launch in September/October. In a similar manner to Athena Swan and the REF, CoreHR will be used to extract the underlying information on staff records, to inform the Uniforum collection.

The report will provide a list of all staff records (to which you have access) and will indicate whether or not the individual’s record, based on current coding in the Core Personnel module, will be included in the survey. We are currently working on further guidance which will be released along with the report next month.

Each area within the University will have a ‘primary contact’ for the Uniforum data collection exercise, and as a CoreHR user you may be asked to run this report by your primary contact. If you are both a CoreHR user and a Uniforum primary contact then you will of course be able to run the report for yourself.

Updating the ‘HRIS contacts by department’ list

The Key HRIS Contacts by Department list was compiled in response to requests from users to provide a named individual within each department to act as a point of contact for queries about transfers, shared posts or employee history in CoreHR. 

It has been some time since the list was reviewed and updated and so we would like all HRIS Guardians to check the current named contact for their department.

If you wish to make any changes to the current list, or if your department is not currently listed and you would like us to add a contact, please send the person’s name, telephone number, e-mail address and name(s) of department(s) for which they are the contact to HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk by Friday 6 May. If you would prefer not to supply a contact name, it would be useful to know that too.

Outstanding salary approvals – fourth reminder

Further to our article in the Jan 2016 Bulletin, there are still a significant number of historic unapproved salary lines, particularly for non-employees.

A number of users have recently reported very slow response times when attempting to access the salary approvals queue. We have raised this with CoreHR who have advised that this could be caused by the old unapproved salary lines.

We are in the process of obtaining a detailed report of all the outstanding salary and allowance items and will be contacting departments who have old unapproved salaries in due course.

In the meantime, if you are an approver and have old salary lines in your queue, please ensure that you approve or reject them as appropriate as soon as possible.

Projects Update

Improving equality and diversity data for academic job applicants

We have recently embarked on a project to move all academic recruitment onto CoreHR. While this has always been on the HR Systems workplan, the need for improved coverage of recruitment monitoring data for Athena Swan and other equality initiatives has provided the impetus to undertake this now.

The initial phase of the project will focus on creating an online application form for academic vacancies and a process that closely replicates the current offline process, but with applications submitted and received via CoreHR in order to support the capture of equality data. The project aims to implement the online application form for all new academic vacancies from 1 July and will involve some changes to the way in which academic vacancies are advertised on the University’s ‘Jobs and Vacancies’ website.

We are currently consulting with divisions and nominated departmental representatives, as well as central users including the senior appointments team, to ensure that the application form and supporting process meets the needs of all stakeholders and that implications for those involved in existing processes are understood. If you would like to contribute to this consultation, please contact your divisional secretary or e-mail hris@admin.ox.ac.uk.

While the need for robust recruitment data for Athena Swan is the impetus for this project at this time, the change will also realise other benefits including administrative efficiencies and a more positive and consistent applicant experience. 

For further information about the project, including the FAQs gathered so far, please visit our Projects webpage.

Data Quality

HRINFO01_Data Quality Validation Report

To aid the HR Information Team prepare accurate external and internal reports please clear all anomalies from your HRINFO01_Data Quality Validation report by Friday 29th of April. We will check through data in May and contact departments where anomalies are still present.

In preparation for the 2015-16 HESA Staff Return and the Medical Schools Council Survey please ensure that you once again clear all anomalies from HRINFO01_Data Quality Validation report by Thursday 30th of June.

The HR Information Team website provides detailed guidance on entering the data items highlighted in the HRINFO01 report. Please email the team on hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk if you have any queries about the report or HESA related data input.

HRIS User Support

May bank holiday support arrangements

The HRIS Support Centre will be closed on the early May Bank Holiday i.e. from 5.00pm on Friday 29 April 2016 until 8.30am on Tuesday 3 May 2016.

New location for HRIS training rooms

The HRIS training rooms have moved to the IT Services Banbury Road office with effect from 1 April 2016.

New purpose built training rooms are currently under construction at Banbury Road to replace the rooms at Hythe Bridge Street. The new rooms are expected to be completed by the beginning of June. In the meantime, three meeting rooms have been converted to fully-equipped training rooms.

Our website and course joining instructions have been updated with details on how to find the Banbury Road offices and where to sign in.

QRG Updates

Significant changes have been made to the guides below, i.e. where there are new/changes to processes and procedures or to provide clarity:

PA5 Working Overseas (167kb) Updated guidance regarding new location, action and reason codes.  
CH11 Managing changes regrading (1,509kb)   Updated guidance on the effective date to enter on the staff request. 

Minor changes have been made to the guides shown below e.g. corrections:

CH10 Family Leave (734kb)
  1. Guidance regarding Maternity leave return corrected (section E).
  2. Hyperlinks updated.

PA2e Transfers Between Departments (694kb)

CH21 Managing Underfills (156kb)

 Hyperlinks updated.
CH14 Manage Changes Secondments (408kb)   Hyperlinks and formatting updated 

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 - 17.00 

This Month's Deadlines

Deadlines for Personnel Users: May Payroll

Please also refer to the May 2016 Payroll Cycle Diagram (14kb)

Thursday 21 April - 6pm April Supplementary Payroll Deadline Any changes which affect payroll but do not require payroll action/ approval, must be entered and approved within the department by this deadline in order to be included in April's payroll run.
Friday 22 to Monday 25 April No user input Two clear working days are required during which users cannot enter data into the personnel module, to enable the payroll to be run (all other modules are unaffected).
Tuesday 3 May Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Friday 6 May. Staff Requests received after this deadline are not guaranteed to be processed by the standard payroll deadline. The usual turnaround timings for gradings apply (ten working days).
Thursday 5 May Casual Payments Deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Friday 6 May
HRIS Data Services users only: Data Services Admin Deadline Data Services payroll forms should be submitted to the HRIS Data Services team by this deadline. This is to ensure sufficient time for the team to process them for the payroll deadline and resolve any queries.
Friday 6 May Support Requests for May Requests for assistance associated with actions for this month's payroll deadline should be received by the HRIS Support Centre by this date. This is to ensure that sufficient time is available for the team to address your queries.
Tuesday 10 May - 6pm May Payroll Deadline All changes which require payroll action/approval must be entered and approved within the department by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Friday 20 May May Supplementary Payroll Deadline Any changes which affect payroll, but do not require payroll action/ approval, must be entered and approved within the department by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.