January HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

Projects update

Update from the HR Information Team

Payroll corner

New and updated documents and reports

HRIS user support

This month's deadlines

News and reminders

“New Starter Health Checks” replace pre-employment health screening

As communicated by Personnel Services and Occupational Health, the process for pre-employment health screening will be changing later this month. The revised guidance, which includes a step-by-step guide for the new process (now known as New Starter Health Checks) is available on the Personnel Services website. The new forms will be available for use in CoreHR from Monday, 23 January, and should be used for all new recruitments from this date.

User access review by HRIS guardians

All HRIS Guardians have access to report SECSUP53 to enable them to view the access arrangements to HRIS for users based within their area of responsibility. In July 2014, we contacted all Guardians asking them to run the report, review the current access arrangements, and notify us of any changes required. 

In the next few weeks, we will contact each HRIS Guardian and ask them to run the report again. If, upon viewing the report, a Guardian wishes to change a user’s access, they will need to submit a User Access Form for each user, specifying new or amended access as required. Once complete, the form should then be forwarded by the Guardian to the HRIS Support Centre.

From now on, we will be conducting this exercise on an annual basis, in or around January each year. This is consistent with good practice and enables all HRIS Guardians to be confident that access to CoreHR for their department(s) is appropriate and current.

All posts to have an FTE of 1.0

As regular users of the Personnel module will know, the system holds information about an employee’s FTE at two levels – the level of the post and the level of the corresponding appointment. The post details relate to the general position that is vacant; the appointment details are specific to that occasion of appointing – i.e. they relate to the individual in post. As a rule, each employee has their own post and appointment in the system.

When implementing CoreHR in 2011, a decision was made that the FTE held on individual appointments within the system should not exceed the FTE held on the underlying post. The aim was to ensure that CoreHR holds post details that accurately reflect what has been budgeted and agreed. A process was put in place, which required divisions and departments to e-mail the Reward team if they wanted to amend the hours on the post. This process supported the recruitment protocol that was in place at the time.

We have reviewed this requirement, as we are aware that it causes confusion that has led to low compliance. In addition, the relative frequency of permanent or temporary changes in employee FTE can make it difficult for departments to keep the post FTE in line with the appointment, which poses a risk of users attributing misplaced significance to the post FTE. We have consulted with divisions which further confirmed the low likelihood that that any departments are utilising the FTE held on the post – all reports rely on the appointment FTE.

With immediate effect, all new posts that are set up in the CoreHR system will have an FTE of 1.0, regardless of the hours the individual will be working. The FTE held on the employee’s appointment will reflect the hours they are contracted to work. If you wish to increase the hours the individual is working, up to a maximum of the full time hours for that post/grade, you can do so following your local approval processes with no need for central authorisation. Once authorised locally, you can then process a change in hours on the Core appointment, following the standard guidance within QRG CH3, with no need to amend the FTE on the post.

Note that this does not alter the guidance on completing Staff Requests – the FTE completed on the Staff Request should reflect the agreed FTE for the appointment as at the time the request is raised.

New leaving reason in Core for the Voluntary Redundancy Scheme (VRS) 2016/17

The University launched a Voluntary Redundancy Scheme (VRS) 2016/17 in October 2016. To support this scheme, we now have a new leaving reason available to use in the Core system - “RESIGNATION: VRS 2016/17”. Please ensure that this leaving reason code is chosen in the Core personnel record for any employee leaving through the arrangement of the VRS 2016/17.

New job title

A new job title, solicitor, has been created in Core HR and is available to use with immediate effect.

Projects update

Improving the casual payments process

Reminders and actions for phase one departments

January’s casual payment deadline passed with fewer issues than the previous two months but there are still a few common recurring errors. Please take note of the following:

  1. Appointment start date: remember that the start date on the appointment must be earlier than the earliest transaction date entered on the payment spreadsheet for that worker. We have updated the Casual Worker Data Collection Form to capture this data item (along with e-mail address, which was also missing – thanks to those of you who fed this back).
  2. Resubmitting corrected errors: if Payroll ask you to resubmit lines on the payment sheet because of an error, you must submit a new spreadsheet containing only those lines that contained errors. If you resubmit all rows again it is likely that all other payments will be paid twice.
  3. Approve the pay: when creating a new casual appointment record, the pay must be approved by the department before the casual payment deadline (even though the pay on the appointment will equate to zero) otherwise the record will not be pulled through to the Payroll module.
  4. Updated payment spreadsheet: we have updated the casual payment spreadsheet with the new rate for the lowest point on grade 1 (point 4). Please ensure that you are using the latest version of the spreadsheet.
  5. Right to work UDF: you must check that a current valid right to work record is present on the appointment before you submit a payment claim for that worker. If the worker has had an open casual record in your department for some time, it is possible that the right to work was never entered in the UDF. If the right to work is missing when the payment is submitted, the Staff Immigration Team will contact you and payment will be withheld until you have added this information (see item below on tidying up your records!).
  6. Equality data: don’t forget to ask all new casual workers and teachers to complete a Staff Starter form (not the M1 form, which is for applicants only) and email it to monitoring@admin.ox.ac.uk. 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 Core record. 
  7. Password: please remember to password protect your payment spreadsheet.

Tidy up your casual records – all departments

All casual workers need a valid right to work record to be present on their CoreHR record. Phase one of the casuals project has highlighted that there are many open casual records that don’t have a valid right to work on the system. The new process will help to address this over time. However, to reduce the time spent chasing missing information, we are asking all departments, including those who have not yet adopted the new process, (with the exception of Data Service users) to take the following action:

  1. Run tab three of the report PERDEP41_Immigration and Right to Work with the parameter for Employee Status set to “Worker” to identify all open casual records in your department.
  2. Export the report to Excel and filter to identify those records that have a missing or invalid right to work.
  3. Either add the right to work record to the UDF in CorePersonnel following the guidance contained in section D1 of QRG PA11 OR end the appointment if appropriate following the guidance in section J.
  4. Complete this exercise by 31 March.

We will be in touch with Data Services departments regarding this task in the next few weeks.

If you have any queries regarding this, please e-mail HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk

Update from the HR Information Team

Clear HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2016-17

In December, we asked departments to clear all red and amber data issues from the HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2016-17. We may be in touch if you have outstanding issues. The report now has red error messages and amber advisory messages. We are particularly keen to get all job text information completed, as this is becoming more widely required for reporting.

Data request/checking exercise

The HRI team are now turning their attention to the HESA staff return for 2016-17.

There will be a data checking exercise underway during January and February which should cover the following items for any staff due to be returned to HESA in 16-17:

  • Qualifications
  • Current Academic Discipline taught and/or researched
  • Academic teaching qualifications

For any departments where any of the above items are found to be missing for the relevant employees, the HR Information team will be in touch to ask that the information is sought and keyed to Core.

Contact hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk if you have any new queries to raise with the team.

Payroll corner

Tax forms for new starters are mandatory

It is essential that departments send a tax form to Payroll for every new starter. Please build this into your new starter procedures/checklists if it is not already there.

You must first ask every starter for a P45. When they give it to you, send parts two and three immediately to your Payroll Officer in the internal post, as we are meant to hold the original form.

If your employee does not have a P45 on day one (e.g. employee is new to the UK, or previous employer has not yet sent it) then they MUST complete a Starter Checklist, to be sent to your Payroll Officer by post or by email. If they subsequently receive their P45, this must still be sent to Payroll regardless of whether a Starter Checklist has already been provided. Payroll would rather have both forms than neither.

Many people are paying too much tax because these essential forms have been overlooked. Please help your employees by ensuring they complete and send either tax form as soon as they start work.

Two helpful notes on Starter Checklist completion:

  1. Employee statements A, B and C only relate to previous employment in the UK in this tax year (April to March). Employees working abroad immediately prior to the job here do not need to specify this.
  2. The student loan declaration is for UK Student loans only.

If you have any queries, please ask your Payroll Officer.

Off-payroll workers / Changes to tax legislation

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn 2016 statement confirmed that from April 2017 the Government will introduce tax changes which will result in increased responsibilities on public sector organisations who engage Personal Service Company (PSC) contractors. The new legislation aims to ensure that individuals who work through their own company pay employment taxes in a similar way to employees, where they would be employed by the public sector organisation were it not for the PSC or other intermediary that they work through.

From April 2017, where the University (or one of its subsidiaries) engages a contractor through a PSC, the University (or its subsidiary) will be responsible for assessing whether the off-payroll rules (often known as IR35) apply and will be liable and responsible for operating payroll and paying the correct taxes to HMRC if they do. The changes will apply to contracts entered into, or payments made, on or after 6 April 2017.

The generally accepted definition of a PSC is a limited company that typically has a sole director, the contractor, who owns most or all of the shares. The contractor’s PSC generally supplies professional services to end user clients, either directly or via an agency. The professional services are delivered by the contractor who is also the owner and director of the business.

The University has created a working group of relevant stakeholders to consider the impact that these changes will have and communicate with those affected. Further guidance will be forthcoming soon.

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:

Appointing QRGs

PANS0 Pre Arrival and New Starter Guide (2,607kb)

PA2f Transferring Within the Same Department (681kb)

PA2d Appointing a Rehire (720kb)

PA2b Additional Appointments (678kb)

PA2c Appointing Variable Hours Employees (686kb)

  1. Cost allocation guidance has been updated for clarity to help improve data quality
  2. Staff classification guidance has been amended. Specific details about what to enter have been removed and you are instead referred to the staff classification guide on the HR Information team website.
All remaining appointing QRGs will be updated next month.

HRIS user support

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: February payroll

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

Monday 23 January - 5pm January 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 January's payroll run.
Tuesday 24 - Wednesday 25 January 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 February 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 February. 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 February 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 February 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 February Support requests for February 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 February - 5pm February 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.
Monday 20 February 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 this month's payroll run.