February HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

Update from the HR Information Team

Payroll corner

Projects update

New and updated documents and reports

HRIS user support

This month's deadlines

News and reminders

Planned downtime for essential Oracle database patching – 28 February

We have scheduled a period of downtime for the next set of quarterly patches (fixes) to the Oracle database. This is part of the regular cycle of quarterly patching.

The downtime will take place on Tuesday 28 February from 8:00 - 13:00.

As always, we will aim to keep the duration of the downtime to the absolute minimum. We will provide further details to all users by e-mail as soon as possible.

Updated casual spreadsheet for gender pay gap reporting

We are updating the casual payment submission spreadsheet to support the new mandatory gender pay gap reporting requirements (see Personnel Circular PERS(17)02). To enable the University to comply with the new legislation, casual weekly working hours must be reportable and all casual workers must be paid on the basis of an hourly rate. We are therefore removing the majority of the cash pay codes from the spreadsheet and adding further validation to remind you to enter a row for each week worked and to ensure that the hourly rate paid does not fall below the Living Wage. In response to general user feedback on the casual payment spreadsheet, we have also taken this opportunity to add a column showing the total amount to be paid (hours x hourly rate).

We recognise the difficulties that these new legal requirements will cause for departments and we share your frustration at the short notice given to public sector bodies to implement the necessary changes to enable us to comply. We are working closely with Payroll, the Reward Team and representatives from departments to support this change and minimise the impact wherever possible.

The new version of the spreadsheet (v4.0) will be available on our website from 6th March. Please ensure you download and use this new version for all payments to be made from April onwards. Due to the importance of these changes, Payroll will reject all submissions made on previous versions of the spreadsheet.

We will update the casual payment spreadsheet online guide and relevant casuals QRGs to reflect the new requirements.

New grading arrangements

The Reward team have conducted a review of grading procedures with a view to decreasing turnaround times /for staff requests and reducing the number of job evaluations undertaken by the analysts in Personnel Services. More information can be found on the Personnel Services Website.

Effective from 1 March 2017:

  • Standard Research roles in grades 6-10 (both internally and externally funded) will no longer be processed by a role analyst. These roles are all underpinned by generic job descriptions
  • Roles in grades 1-3 will no longer be processed by a role analyst. The majority of these roles are underpinned by a generic job description, and those that are not can be matched to a grade description.
  • Roles in grades 4 and 5, which are covered by a generic JD, will no longer be processed by a role analyst.

 Turnaround times for the above roles will be significantly reduced from the current average of 10 working days. The remaining jobs will still be seen by a role analyst. There are no changes to the regrading process.

 Support arrangements

  • The Reward team will continue to grade roles by request, and to carry out spot checks on staff requests.
  • To support departments to ensure that jobs are still appropriately graded, a number of new generics have been developed and the website has been reviewed.
  • Training sessions on the use of HERA and job descriptions, which covers the use of generic job descriptions, will continue to run over the course of 2017
  • The staff request position types and the staff request and contract decision matrix will be updated to reflect the new procedures. These will be published on 1 March. 

OSPS consultation

Until 10 March, the University and colleges are holding a consultation on the University of Oxford Staff Pension Scheme, OSPS. All members, and all staff who are eligible but not enrolled in the scheme, are invited to respond to the consultation. The Finance Division has published a consultation document, and has also arranged a series of briefing sessions for relevant staff members (primarily grades 1-5) to attend. For more information, and for the times of these sessions, please see the Pensions News pages.

New leaving reason code

A new leaving reason code “Casual Appointment End” will shortly be available in the system. You should use this leaving reason code when ending all casual appointments. 

Update from the HR Information Team

Collection of equality and diversity data for casual workers

The HRI team have recently monitored the collection rate of equality and diversity data for those departments now creating their own casual records in CoreHR. Unfortunately, there are a number of departments with few or no forms being returned by new starters (the Head of HR Information has already contacted some departments about this).

Please ensure that new starters receive the Staff Starter Form (not an M1 form) and are encouraged to complete and return it. Guidance is available on the Using HRIS webpages. A pre-populated form can be generated from the CoreHR system. Alternatively, the form is available from the Equality and Diversity Unit web pages or the HRIS project page.

Please make sure that you enter the Appointment ID on the form before giving it to the individual to complete, otherwise we cannot reconcile it to the CoreHR record. 

All forms should be returned to the Data Service Team, Dartington House, University Offices, Wellington Square.

The HRI team will continue to monitor collection rates throughout the year.

Run HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2016-17 as usual

Please keep running and clearing data issues from the HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2016-17 report regularly (we suggest every month). Thank you to everyone who cleared their report in January! The HR Information Team website provides guidance and you can contact us on hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk if you have any new queries to raise.

HR Information Team webpages updated

The team have refreshed some of the information on our web pages, specifically:

Data send out – teaching qualifications, teaching/research subjects, highest qualifications

Some departments will have received an email from the team alerting them to missing or incomplete data in the following HESA items

These items are required for HESA, guidance on how to complete the details in CoreHR is available in the PANS0 Pre-arrival and new starter guide. Please make the necessary changes by 10th March and ensure that they are fully entered for all relevant employees going forward.

Payroll corner

Ensuring you use the correct end date for a leaver

If you administer leavers in CoreHR, please re-read “Recording the correct start and end dates in Core HR”; it’s only one page long but contains essential information. Many departments are still not entering the correct end date, thus underpaying their staff at the end of their appointment. It is also important to terminate the record in the month in which they are leaving the University otherwise season tickets or cycle loans cannot be automatically reclaimed from the final pay. To ensure you are following the current process please always refer to QRG EA1 –Ending appointment(s) when ending an appointment.

Please also note that wherever possible you should end appointments by the normal Payroll deadline (around the 10th of each month). The supplementary deadline is only for late notification of leavers.

Projects update

Improving the casual payment process - update

The activity to implement the new casual payment process in the remaining departments (phase two) is progressing well. We have been in touch with a number of phase two departments – if you haven’t yet heard from us you will do so in the next week or two! 

Due to the additional requirements resulting from the new gender pay gap requirements, which are effective from April’s casual payroll, we are postponing go-live for the majority of phase two departments until April. This allows those departments to adopt the new version of the spreadsheet from the outset.

As usual, a few reminders for those of you that have already adopted the new process:

  • Sub-category – you must complete this on the casual worker record. It drives the natural account code which is essential for the GL financial reporting
  • Cost-centre on the appointment – you must select your default department cost centre on the appointment. A few departments have been incorrectly selecting the “Balance Sheet” code (all zeros) which Payroll use for another purpose.
  • Cost-allocations – it is not necessary to complete the cost allocations on the casual appointment. The costing is taken from the payment spreadsheet. Use report PERDEP13_Active Cost Centres and Project Codes to convert an Oracle project code to the Core format.

New and updated documents and reports

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:

PA11 Managing Casual Worker Records (1,407kb)  
  1. Correction to the scale point and rate of pay displayed in the system.
  2. Added guidance on changing the start date before commencing
  3. Added guidance on entering other hourly rates and transaction dates
  4. Removed section on adding cost allocations
CH1 Recording funding (404kb)
  1. Updated guidance on effective dates to enter
  2. Added guidance regarding possible problems ending current cost allocations
  3. Guidance on entering the cost allocation and project codes has been updated for clarity 
CH9 Contract Extension (628kb)
  1. Guidance on entering the cost allocation and project codes has been updated for clarity
  2. Added guidance on the appointment action and reason codes to use. 

CH7 Changes Due to Long Term Sick Leave (416kb)

CH11 Managing changes regrading (1,482kb)

PA2g Direct Appoint (630kb)

PA2k Marie Curie Students (652kb)

PA2n Appoint Nuffield Medical Fellow (493kb)

Guidance on entering the cost allocation and project codes has been updated for clarity
PA12 Completing the payment submission spreadsheet for casuals (490kb) *NEW*

HRIS user support

Online staff request and data protection training

Due to the number of old outstanding user access requests, we are implementing a time limit for completion of the online Staff Request and Data Protection modules. If a user has not completed the required online module(s) within two months of being given Web Learn access to enable them to do so, a new user access form will need to be submitted.

Changes to Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla has made a security change to their Firefox internet browser, which blocks Java from running on versions V52 and above. This change means that CoreHR Back Office and CoreBI Discoverer will no longer work on impacted versions of Firefox from March 7th 2017. This does not affect use of Portal (used for Staff Requests) on Firefox. 

This change is outside of the control of CoreHR.  If you wish to continue to use CoreHR with Firefox until 2018 you can do so using Firefox version 52 ESR.

Action for HRIS Guardians

Please remember to run Discoverer report SECSUP53 – User Access Report to review your department’s user access to the HRIS system.

If you have not already reviewed your report and responded to us, please note that we are extending the deadline to 28 February. If you don’t think you will be able to meet this deadline, please let us know by emailing hris@admin.ox.ac.uk. Please also use this email address to get in touch if you have any questions.

Planned downtime for tax year-end - 28 and 29 March - all modules

We are currently preparing for tax year-end. Each year this requires software to be tested and applied to the system to ensure that the University can fulfil its statutory payroll reporting obligations. The Payroll team need to be confident that all statutory year-end reporting can be completed accurately and on time. 

To achieve this, it is necessary to schedule a period of system downtime. This downtime, which will affect all back office users of CoreHR and applicants using e-Recruitment, will take place on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 March inclusive – immediately following on from the standard “no user input period” for Personnel users. 

Implications for users

  • Recruitment: A message will be placed on the jobs and vacancies web pages to inform applicants of the downtime. Please ensure that when placing new vacancies you avoid closing them on these dates.
  • Payroll costing report: It is likely that the payroll costing reports will be distributed slightly later than usual. However, we expect to be able to meet our commitment to providing these within three days of completion of the payroll run.

If you have any questions regarding this downtime, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your cooperation.

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: March payroll

Please also refer to the March 2017 Payroll Cycle Diagram (14kb)

DATE(S) DEADLINEEXPLANATION 
Monday 20 February - 5pm February 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 February's payroll run.
Tuesday 21 and Wedneday 22 February 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).
Friday 3 March Staff request deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Wednesday 8 March. 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).
Friday 3 March Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Wednesday 8 March 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.
Wednesday 8 March Support requests for March 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.
Friday 10 March - 5pm March 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.
Thursday 23 March March 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.