March 2015 HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

Data Quality

Projects Update

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines

News and reminders

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

As outlined in the e-mail to all users on 11 March, 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 then need to be confident that all statutory year-end reporting can be completed accurately and on time, and that the statutory changes effective from the start of the new tax year on 6th April 2015, are also in place.

To complete this work, it is necessary to schedule two periods of system downtime as follows:

Thursday 19 March 1-8pm – all modules

This downtime will affect all back office users of CoreHR and applicants using e-Recruitment.  A separate message will be placed on the jobs and vacancies web pages to inform applicants of this. This downtime period is required to enable us to upload the year end software.

Tuesday 24 – Thursday 26 March inclusive, all day – all modules

During this month’s two-day “no user input” period, and for an additional day to enable the preparation of year-end data, all CoreHR modules will be unavailable. Applicants however, will be able to make full use of e-Recruitment during this period.

This year we are adopting a new approach to managing user access during the three day downtime at the end of March.  Please note that in the period 24 – 26 March inclusive, it will not be possible for users outside of the Payroll team to access the CoreHR system.  This is because last year, when we merely requested that users did not make changes in the system during this period, a number of people ignored this request.  This creates additional work for the Payroll team at an already busy and demanding period and a risk that if such changes are not caught, inaccurate data will be returned to the HMRC and reflected incorrectly in P60s.  This could result in fines to the University.

We have therefore taken the decision this year that we must withdraw the system from use to ensure an accurate return. 

In recognition of the inconvenience this could cause for recruitment activity, the HRIS Support Centre will generate the PDF application packs for all vacancies closing on 24,25 and 26 March, as soon as they close at midday. To enable departments to download these packs, and to allow other essential tasks to be undertaken during this three-day period (e.g. generation of invitation to interview or training e-mails), we will be restoring access to the system to all users for a one-hour period each day from 1pm-2pm.  During this period, to ensure an accurate return to HMRC, you must not make any amendments to any data accessible under the following path: Core|Personnel > Maintenance.

We will be contacting departments that have vacancies closing during the downtime periods to discuss the options available for managing this, including offering our assistance in generating short listing packs if required.

The Reward team will not be processing staff requests during the three day no input period unless the post being requested requires advertising. Therefore, to assist the Reward Team in identifying these staff requests, please add a note “for advertising” in the additional information field when raising staff requests with immediate effect.  Any queries relating to the processing of staff requests over this period should be referred to the Reward Team.

For ease of reference, the timescales and impact on user activity is summarised in the timetable below.

We hope that this approach will enable us to complete a successful return. We will review the operation of this approach once the year end processing is complete.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Date and time Action Impact for CoreHR users

Thursday 19 March

1-8pm

 
 

Load year-end software into CoreHR

 

CoreHR unavailable – all modules including applicants’ use of
e-Recruitment

Message will be
placed on jobs & vacancies web pages

 

24 -26 March inclusive

all day

(see details of
one-hour exception)

 

Monthly payroll processing and preparation and submission of year end return

 

CoreHR unavailable – all modules.

1-2pm each day – system available for essential tasks. Strictly no updates to Personnel records.

Applicants are unaffected.

Setting time-critical closing dates – message from the adverts team

When setting time-critical advert closing dates, for example to ensure that the Home Office’s resident labour market test (advertising requirements) have been met, please consider the following points:

  • to avoid any delay in placing your advert on the University site please avoid setting a closing date on a Tuesday as this is an HRIS “at risk” day. 
  • adverts are sent to jobs.ac.uk the day after they go live on the University site.  It then takes up to two working days for them to appear on the jobs.ac.uk site.  You must factor this into your advertising timescales to ensure you can meet the Home Office requirements.

Updated Core templates

1. All contract templates

The contract templates have been updated as follows:

  • Updated pension auto-enrolment thresholds.
  • Where a fixed-term contract is offered to cover a substantive job holder’s temporary absence, the template previously only referred to maternity leave cover.  Additional options have now been added for other types of family leave (i.e. adoption and shared parental leave).
  • Date field for the contract has been inserted.
  • The wording for variable hours employees has been amended to clarify the working hours.

Support staff contract templates only:

  • A new prompt/paragraph for employees who may be required to work Saturdays, Sundays, evenings or Bank Holidays.

2. Acting-up allowance (temporary responsibilities) template

The template letter has been updated as follows:

  • Amended the wording to ensure that it is clear that the allowance amount stated in the letter is a monthly figure and is also paid on a monthly basis.
  • The paragraphs on retirement options and right-to-work have been removed.
  • The start date is no longer an auto-populated field, but is now a ‘fill-in’ prompt instead. This is because it was identified that the wrong start date was being pulled through from Core, which related to the start of the appointment, rather than the start of the allowance.

3. Additional increment template

The start date is no longer an auto-populated field in this template, but is now a ‘fill-in’ prompt instead. This is because it was identified that the wrong start date was being pulled through from Core, which related to the start of the appointment, rather than the start of the additional increment.

4. Pre-employment health questionnaire

All the ‘tick box’ options have been replaced with simple text options instead, so that applicants can type/write ‘Y’ or ‘N’ to the relevant questions. This update was implemented following reports of incompatibility of the questionnaire’s tick boxes with other PCs and software.

How to update the templates

You will need the Personnel Services username and password to access these documents - if you don’t know them, please e-mail Personnel.Services@admin.ox.ac.uk, including your contact number in the email, and a member of the team will telephone you with the details.

NB: Please refresh the web page (Ctrl + F5) to ensure you are looking at the latest version of the templates.

If you have any issues downloading or generating any of these documents, please contact the HRIS Support Centre – hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk, 01865 (2)87900

Updated casual payroll form

The casual payroll starter form has been updated to include a statement above the signatory fields and a field for signatories to print their names.

Please ensure that you replace any locally saved versions of this form and use the updated form from now onwards.

Please do not double-side the form when printing.  Each side must be on a separate page as the second page is forwarded to the Staff Immigration Team.

Reminder - support request deadline

Our monthly payroll cycle diagram, and the table at the end of this Bulletin, includes the deadline for support queries.  You should submit support requests relating to the current month’s payroll by this deadline so that we have enough time to address them by the payroll deadline.

Please note that we will always give priority to incidents that have been reported by the support deadline and relate to pay changes for that month.

The HRIS v20 Project will place additional demands on the Support Centre and while we have put in place resource to support this we would appreciate it if you could make every effort to submit requests relating to the payroll deadline by our support deadline, or with as much notice as possible. This will enable us to prioritise effectively and ensure we can continue to provide an effective service.

Please approve salary changes by the payroll deadline

Each month we have a number of instances where a salary change has been made for that month but not yet been approved.  Please remember that all changes requiring salary approval must be approved by the appropriate salary approver by the payroll deadline in order to ensure that they are included in that months’ pay.

Ending an employee where SMP is still payable

As reported last month, the Personnel Services guidance on all types of family leave has been reviewed and updated to reflect the new shared parental leave entitlement. The guidance has also clarified that where an employee leaves during her maternity leave, any outstanding SMP owed will be paid as a lump sum with the final salary. Further guidance is available on the Personnel Services website.

Please check your freepost envelopes

Please check that you are not using out-of-date freepost envelopes when returning M1 forms to the Equality and Diversity Unit.  Only use freepost envelopes with the licence number RSGZ-BGZT-BUEE.

The University is charged an additional £1 handling fee every time the incorrect envelopes are used.

If you need new freepost envelopes, or have any questions on non-Core Recruitment, please contact caroline.kennedy@admin.ox.ac.uk

Data Quality

HRINFO01_Data Quality Validation report

Last month we launched a new report called HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation

Using this report will make data quality checking easier in four ways:

  1. Colour traffic light flags indicate appointments needing attention
  2. Helpful messages guide you to the issue quickly
  3. Companion website provides detailed guidance, screenshots and links to Quick Reference Guides
  4. The report will only return data anomalies based on pre-defined rules

If you have not had chance to run this report yet, please do so this month.  We recommend that you run this report every month to keep the data quality in your area high.  One of our team may contact you to check on progress and gather your feedback.

The report currently checks appointments added since August 2014.  We will expand this in the coming weeks to show you more appointments and eventually aim to include all HESA 2014-15 contracts.

Projects Update

HRIS v20 Project update

v20 JPEG small

This month the project team and HRIS Support Centre has relocated to Dartington House. This offers the benefits of a dedicated room for the project team and space for the Subject Matter Experts on the project (members of the HRIS Support Centre, Payroll and other central teams) to “hot desk” alongside the project team when required.

The project team are currently working with a test version (or “environment”) of v20.  During the course of the project further environments will be built and delivered, including one specifically for training and a “production” environment which will become the new “live” environment that you will receive access to when we go live.  The IT Services team has now completed the infrastructure for the production environment and Core will be starting work on their part of this installation in late March.

Our testing team has been busy planning the approach to testing, and identifying all the processes and system steps that need to be thoroughly tested in v20 before we go live.  These will be signed off by the User Group.  We will be involving departmental and divisional users in User Acceptance Testing (UAT).  The Testing Manager for the project will be attending the next user group meeting on Monday 16 March to present the testing approach.  We will make the presentation slides available with the user group minutes and also on the project pages of our website when these are live.  Information on UAT and how you can be involved, will be provided closer to the time.

Our Project Trainer, Julie Hickman, is currently assessing the requirements for v20 training, and also updating the training we provide to new users ready for v20.  To ensure that we are offering what users want and need, we are holding a focus group this month with a small number of users to gather views and preferences.  This will inform the approach we take to user training (we expect there to be minimal mandatory training and a low time commitment for users).  We will provide an update in next month’s bulletin.

On 24 March we will be holding a briefing at the UAS Conference.  The session, entitled HRIS v20 Project: updating software and infrastructure to bring business benefits” will provide an overview of the project aims, timescales, and immediate changes for users.  The session is aimed at anyone with an interest in the project.  Places can be booked through the UAS Conference webpages.

By the time of next month’s bulletin our project webpages will be live.  We will then be able to provide you with links from the bulletin to full project updates on the website.  The website will also contain details of your HRIS v20 Project representatives (see last month’s bulletin) and the mechanisms for communicating with users in your division about the project.  We hope that the webpages will provide all the information you need about the HRIS v20 Project.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about any aspect of the project, please e-mail HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk, or contact your user group representative.

HRIS User Support

Reporting workshop – places available

The next reporting workshop is on Tuesday 7th April from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.  We still have a few spaces left so if you would like to attend please email the HRIS Support Centre to reserve your place.  You can see more information about the course content on our training web page.

New member of the HRIS Support Centre

We are pleased to announce that Helen Oldham will be joining the HRIS Support Centre from 23 March on a one-year contract.  This will enable our existing Support Officers, Rachel and Michael, to become involved in the HRIS v20 Project, and to ensure we have a good level of support available when we go live with v20 towards the end of this year.  

Helen currently works at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and is already using some modules of CoreHR.  Helen will start to take calls and respond to e-mails, initially with support from the rest of the team, when she has completed her induction.

Easter closure arrangements

The HRIS Support Centre will be closed from 5pm on Thursday 2 April 2015 until 8.30am on Tuesday 7 April 2015.

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 1 April 2015 until Tuesday 7 April 2015.  No staff requests or adverts will be processed between 1pm on Wednesday 1 and Monday 6 April inclusive.

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: April Payroll

Please also refer to the April 2015 Payroll Cycle Diagram (14kb)  

DATE(S) DEADLINEEXPLANATION 
Monday 23 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.
Tuesday 24 - Thursday 26 March No user input Following the supplementary deadline in March, there will be three days during which access to the system will be restricted to the Payroll team to allow for tax year end processing. See this month's bulletin item above.
Wednesday 1 April Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Tuesday 7 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).
Tuesday 7 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.
Wednesday 8 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.
Wednesday 8 April 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 April - 6pm 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.
Wednesday 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.