March HRIS Bulletin



How to...?

Projects Update

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines


Job description template updated

The job description and selection criteria template has been updated to include the latest staffing and income figures and to reflect the revised guidance on the number of responsibilities that should be detailed (approximately ten). The document is available to download from the Writing a Job Description page of the Personnel Services website. Please ensure that this updated template is used as the basis for new job descriptions with immediate effect.

New secondments guidance

Personnel Services has published new guidance on the management of secondments, and a new area has been set up on the jobs pages where secondments can be easily identified. If you have a fixed term appointment that you would like to make available on a secondment basis you should include the following statement in your advert text: “The post may also be offered as a secondment opportunity”.  The Adverts Team will then ensure that the advert appears in the secondment area of the web pages, in addition to the relevant job area.

Living Wage update

In January’s Bulletin we reported that, in accordance with Personnel Circular PERS(14)01 (64kb)regarding the University’s response to the increase in the Living Wage, all employees currently on standard grade 1, point 2 would be moved to standard grade 1, point 3 by the HRIS Data Services team with effect from 1 March 2014.

This action has now been completed and relevant departments have been advised.

Training report issue

It has been identified that TRNPRO45_Waiting List By Course is returning different results to the waiting list screens in Core. An initial assessment indicates that there is a discrepancy in the way the data is queried and work is underway to address this. In the meantime, users of the Training module are advised to obtain this information from the screens in Core.


Non-employees – salary must be approved

When creating an appointment for a non employee please remember that the salary line must be approved in the system even though we will not be making any salary payments.

A recent review of all outstanding salary approvals has identified a significant number of unapproved salary lines for non-employees. If you are an approver and have some of these in your queue please ensure that you approve or reject them as appropriate as soon as possible.

Full guidance on how to set up a non-employee is provided in the QRG PA2h Set Up Non Employee inc Agency Workers.


Impact of Payroll being run

As detailed in Deadlines for Personnel Users below, while Payroll are generating the payroll run (i.e. sending the month’s payroll information to the BACS system) no data should be entered into the Personnel module.  The specific dates each month are always detailed on the Monthly Payroll Cycle document, as well as in the table below, and are usually the two working days following the supplementary payroll deadline. Reporting, Training module, e-Recruitment and Staff Requests are unaffected and can still be fully utilised during this time.

When the payroll validation process is running, you may notice that some options become unavailable - these include ‘Amend Pay Rate’ and ‘End Appointment’ from the Selection menu.

How to...?

Display links within external media

Did you know you can reduce the length of any URL that appears in your advert text?  This makes the URL much more presentable and easier for applicants to read and note down the link if viewing it on paper, or to or enter it into their browser quickly and accurately.

‘Bitly’ is a free online URL shortener that replaces a long URL with a much shorter link to the same destination. Visit the Bitly website for more information.

If you are inserting a link to the Core vacancy (e.g. where placing an advert on an external jobs board) you will need to follow the guidance on the Advert Checklist (copying and pasting the URL from the jobs page will not work).

Projects Update

HRIS service recovery testing on HRIS Live

What is Service Recovery Testing?

Service recovery essentially refers to the actions that would happen if there were an issue with the live HRIS service and the requirement arose to move between the Live server supporting the HRIS service to the Standby server.  The objective of this project is to provide assurance that the HRIS system has adequate resilience to do this. The project team is working to ensure that the technical and support arrangements are in place to manage a failure of service and to perform the subsequent failover of an effective HRIS system within an acceptable timeframe.

This procedure is currently being tested by the technical services team within IT Services prior to tests being carried out in the test environment and then finally the HRIS Live environment.  There are two elements to testing, firstly the technical element of completing the failover between servers and then secondly the functional testing to ensure the service is working and ready to be released to the wider user community.

What is the impact for you?

The final test will be in HRIS Live and will happen on one of the first two weekends in April (5/6th or 12/13th).   This is yet to be confirmed but will be communicated to all users once agreed.  During the chosen weekend the HRIS Live environment will not be available between Friday evening through to Sunday PM. More detailed timings will be provided nearer the time and will be communicated with the exact date. 

In the meantime please avoid setting vacancy closing dates on either Monday 7th or Monday 14th April.  The HRIS Support Centre is contacting departments separately where such arrangements have already been made. Thank you for your assistance.

Upgrade to v19

We are currently identifying the analysis to be completed to clarify the impact the upgrade of Core to version 19 will have for the University. Once this analysis is complete we will be in a position to plan the project timescales and agree a communication and consultation approach with users. Initially we will update users through this Bulletin, the HRIS User Group, and through the Projects pages of the HRIS website.

HRIS User Support

Review of user access

This is a reminder that over the next few weeks each HRIS Guardian will receive a user access report that details the access of each HRIS user within their department.  This is part of a standard biannual review of departmental user access, which 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.

Further details on the review process will be provided to HRIS Guardians by e-mail separately.

HRIS User Group

As reported in February’s Bulletin, the HRIS User Group met on Wednesday 12 February.  The unapproved version of the minutes of this meeting are now available on the HRIS webpages.

Easter closure arrangements

The HRIS Support Centre will be closed from 5pm on Thursday 17th April 2014 until 8.30am on Tuesday 22nd April 2014.

Support for applicants

A message will be placed on the University’s Jobs and Vacancies webpages advising applicants of the office closure over the Easter period with the dates as above. Please be aware that behind the scenes, the support team will be monitoring the use and availability of the online recruitment system.  

Staff requests and adverts

Please note that Personnel Services will be closed from 5pm on Wednesday 16th April 2014 until Tuesday 22nd April 2014. No staff requests or adverts will be processed between 1pm on Wednesday 16th and Monday 21st April inclusive.

Processing the tax year end in CoreHR – downtime and implications for users

The tax year end brings with it certain statutory payroll reporting obligations for the University.   Software needs to be tested and applied to the system and the payroll team need to be confident that all statutory year-end reporting is completed accurately and on time, and that the statutory changes effective from the start of the new tax year on 6th April 2014 are also in place.

At this time last year, year-end processing was undertaken in Core for the pensioners and college payrolls that were then live.  This is the first year since the main payroll went live however, that a full year-end has been undertaken in Core taking into account the further requirements of HMRC Real Time Information.  In order to ensure a successful return the following approach is being taken with the necessary impact on system availability and user activity. Please ensure you adhere to the timetable outlined.  Thank you for your cooperation.

DateAction Impact for CoreHR users 
12 – 21 March Load software and test processing in test environments None
24 & 25 March all day Monthly payroll processing No personnel input (reporting, e-Rec and Staff Requests are unaffected)
26 March all day continuing to 27 March, 2pm Prepare year end information STRICTLY NO PROCESSING OF JOINERS OR LEAVERS – system otherwise available for use
27 March, 2 – 7pm Year end software loaded to live CoreHR unavailable for use (includes e-Recruitment, message will be placed on jobs & vacancies webpages)
28 March all day Submit year end returns STRICTLY NO PROCESSING OF JOINERS OR LEAVERS – system otherwise available for use

HRIS Support Centre

Contact details for the team are: or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 - 17.00 

This Month's Deadlines

Deadlines for Personnel Users: April Payroll

Please also refer to the April 2014 Payroll Cycle Diagram (22kb)  

Friday 21 March - 6pm 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 March's payroll run.
Monday 24 - Tuesday 25 March No user input Two clear working days are required during which users cannot enter data, to enable the payroll to be run (reporting, e-Rec and Staff Requests are unaffected).
Monday 31 March   Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on 3 April. 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 3 April  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.
Thursday 3 April   Support Requests for April 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 4 April  Casual Payments Deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Monday 7 April  April 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.
Tuesday 22 April  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 this month's payroll run.