May HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

Data Quality

Projects Update

New and updated documents

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines

News and reminders

Planned downtime – Tuesday 24 May

As per our email of 16 May we have re-scheduled the downtime that we had to postpone from last month. This downtime is required to deliver the latest version of the USS (pension) interface. In order to avoid additional planned downtimes in the near future, and to gain a time saving on overall combined downtime, we are also taking this opportunity to apply mandatory patches to the AIX Operating system and the Oracle Database.

The work will take place on Tuesday 24 May to coincide with the monthly ‘no user input’ period in Personnel, again to minimise service disruption as much as possible.  Exceptionally, on this occasion, we are removing access to the system for the full day to ensure that Payroll can complete the required RTI return before the downtime begins.  This is necessary as users of the Personnel module are still not fully complying with the “no user input” instructions on these days which can, and last month did, cause significant delays in payroll processing.  Any such delays this month, could affect our ability to return the system for use by the end of the working day.

All modules of the CoreHR Back Office and Portal will be affected.  The applicant portal will be unavailable from mid-morning for the rest of the day.  A message will be placed on the Jobs and Vacancies pages advising applicants of this. 

Users have been asked to log out of the system by 7.30am on 24 May in order to prevent any unnecessary delays.  As always, we will notify you as soon as the system is available again.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Application Pack Document Management

Please be reminded that any document you manually attach to an applicant’s application in the back office will be visible to the applicant through the applicant portal.  This approach is therefore not suitable for documents you do not wish to share with your applicants, such as references and similar. QRG REC03 has been updated with this guidance.

We are working with CoreHR to develop functionality to manage references in e-Recruitment; in the meantime, the process of requesting and sharing references should continue to be managed off-system and in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998.

Changes to Reward and Recognition monitoring report

This report enables you to analyse the distribution of Reward and Recognition Scheme nominations and awards in your department or division by grade/staff group and legal sex. The report is now split into six tabs; three relating to Awards for Excellence and three for Recognition Scheme payments. Previously the data for Awards for Excellence and Recognition Scheme payments had been combined. The revised report will be available in the next few days and the report description will be updated accordingly.

Term time and variable hours – use the correct sub status

Please ensure you use the correct sub status for variable hours and term time only employees. The sub status Variable Hours should only be used for employees who have a CMS variable hours contract – i.e. with no fixed working hours. If an employee is contracted to work term time, or works different hours within and outside of term time, they should be given a sub status of Full Time, Term Time Only or Part Time, Term Time only as appropriate.

From April onwards, all employees with a sub status of Variable Hours on applicable grades will be reported to USS as being on a variable hours contract. It is therefore more important than ever to get this right!

Update on known issue - end dating cost allocations

We have been working with our supplier, CoreHR, to try and resolve the issues some users have experienced with cost allocation end dates. The issue occurs in two scenarios: firstly, users are unable to enter an end date on an existing cost allocation row that has no existing end date, and secondly users are unable to amend an existing end date on an existing cost allocation row. This only appears to affect records migrated from v16, which overlap with a cost allocation held against the post set up during the staff request process.

CoreHR has identified the underlying cause of this and a fix will be available in release 20.0.21 which we expect to take in late 2016. In the meantime, if you encounter this issue, please contact the Support Centre who will apply a fix on a case-by-case basis. We have updated our Known Issues webpage with this information.

State pension and personal allowance changes – April 2016

Personal allowances (the amount of income you do not have to pay tax on) and basic rate limits have increased; click here to see the new limits.

The new State Pension has replaced the existing basic and additional State Pension and ended ‘contracting-out’ and the National Insurance rebate. For further details and for information on how this affects pensions and ‘take home’ pay, visit the pensions website here.

Marie Curie fellows

In light of the pension and tax changes the rates for calculating the percentage of the gross pay, including on-costs, for Marie Curie fellows will also change:

  • For those in the USS pension: 78.3%
  • For those not in the pension: 89.2%

Pension Office: New address

The University's Pension Office has moved to:

6 Worcester Street, Oxford, OX1 1BX

All other contact details remain the same.

Data Quality

HRINFO01_Data Quality Validation Report

In preparation for the 2015-16 HESA Staff Return and the Medical Schools Council Survey please ensure that you clear all anomalies from HRINFO01_Data Quality Validation report by Thursday 30th of June. The HR Information Team will follow up with departments where data anomalies are still present. If you have anomalies that you have already discussed with the team, you don’t need to contact us again about those queries.

The HR Information Team website provides detailed guidance on entering the data items highlighted in the HRINFO01 report. Please email us on if you have any queries about the report or HESA related data input.

Projects Update

Improving equality and diversity data for academic job applicants

As detailed in last month’s Bulletin, we are working on a project to move all academic recruitment onto CoreHR. The project aims to implement an 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.

Following a very constructive meeting with representatives from divisions and departments at the beginning of May, we are now undertaking a series of further meetings with divisional office staff and departments with specific needs or interests, to ensure that the proposed processes will work for all those involved. Once these processes have been agreed we will provide a detailed update to all departments via divisional offices and the HRIS Bulletin. 

If your department has specific requirements around academic recruitment that we may not be aware of, or would like to provide feedback on the proposals, please e-mail

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

New and updated documents

QRG updates

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

REC03 Managing Online Applications (1,389kb)
  1. Updated guidance on uploading documents
  2. Additional screenshots and guidance in the Submit Web Applicants section for clarity 

Staff Classification Guide updated

An updated version of the Staff Classification guidance document is now available.

The updated guide is available as usual through the ‘Using HRIS’ and HR Information Team websites.

The updated document aims to give improved guidance and will not change how roles are classified, so there is no requirement to review or reclassify roles within your area.

The new guide includes:

  • a different layout to aid rapid identification of the correct sub-category
  • improved definitions of each sub-category
  • more example job titles for each sub-category
  • generic job descriptions (available on the Reward Team website) mapped to sub-categories
  • new roles such as Knowledge Exchange Fellows
  • specific guidance for classifying some roles in Medical Sciences department such as Research Nurses and Clinical Trail Coordinators

New Starter Data Collection Form updated

Following a thorough review with users and other interested parties, we have updated the New Starter Data Collection Form.  Thank you to those of you who assisted us with this review and provided feedback.

Staff data from CorePersonnel forms the basis of external returns that can affect the level of funding the University receives.  The New Starter Data Collection Form plays a key role in ensuring that we gather accurate information on our new starters.  The changes we have made to the design of the form will assist us in ensuring that we are collecting relevant and comprehensive data.  

The form is available to run from the e-Recruitment and Personnel modules. When generating the questionnaire from Core, you will be prompted to answer a series of questions.  Please ensure you answer these carefully as your responses will determine whether certain sections are included in the form.   

This approach ensures that we only ask new employees to supply the information we require relevant to the duties of the post.  The categories that will be included or excluded based on your response to the questions asked are as follows:

  • Academic teaching qualifications
  • Academic discipline being taught and/or researched
  • NHS contract details

All other questions are mandatory and cannot be edited.

The new version of the form will be available on 1 June 2016. Any saved or printed copies of previous versions should be deleted/destroyed.

A non-Core version of the form (for data service users and direct appointments only) is available from the Data Services team webpage.

Job Description template updated

As part of a wider recruitment and ‘employer branding’ project, the job description template has been fully revised, with input from the EDU, Policy team and representatives from different departments and divisions. The new template contains new content and a new format, and is available from the Personnel Services website.

Instructions and explanatory notes are highlighted in yellow and should be read in full before deletion, as they contain important information and reminders.  Please ensure that any locally saved versions of the template follow the format of the latest version and include all relevant information.

NB please use the new template from May 2016. Use of old templates may result in delays to your job being placed on the University jobs website.

Shortlisting Form updated

We have updated the shortlisting grid that is available to generate in e-Recruitment so that it lists the applicants in alphabetical order by surname.

This update required a macro to be built into the document to change the sort order. While the macro is running, Word will freeze briefly. Once the macro is complete, the form will be generated and the cursor will move to the end of the form. Please do not take any action within Word while this short process is running.

We have thoroughly tested the document before releasing it, but please let us know if you encounter any issues.

HRIS User Support

HRIS Personnel and reporting training surgeries

Do you need to brush up on some Personnel or Reporting skills in the HRIS system?

Is there an area of the HRIS system that you feel less comfortable with than you would like?

Why not come along to Dartington House for a one-hour informal one-to-one training session with one of our trainers?  Sessions will be informal and we will ask you to provide details in advance of the questions you have or topics you would like to cover.

Details of available dates and times are shown on the HRIS Website.  To reserve your place e-mail at least three working days prior to the date you wish to attend.

We are piloting these training surgeries and will continue to provide them if there is sufficient demand so please do make the most of this opportunity.

May bank holiday support arrangements

The HRIS Support Centre will be closed on the late May Bank Holiday i.e. from 5.00pm on Friday 27 May 2016 until 8.30am on Tuesday 31 May 2016.

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: June Payroll

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

Friday 20 May - 6pm 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 May's payroll run.
Saturday 21 to Tuesday 24 May 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).
Wednesday 1 June Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Monday 6 June. 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 June 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 June 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 June Support Requests for June 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 June - 6pm June 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 June June 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.