November HRIS User Bulletin

Key Dates and Deadlines

News, Updates & Reminders for Personnel Users

Payroll Project

News, Updates & Reminders for Recruitment Users

HRIS User Support Arrangements

Key Dates and Deadlines

Payroll & Staff Request cut-off Dates for Personnel Users

DescriptionDeadlineDetails
Payroll deadline Wednesday 5 December
An overview of Payroll deadlines (which now applies equally to casual workers) can be found on the Finance website.
Staff request deadline Wednesday 28 November

For staff requests which do not require grading, any requests received by 5 p.m. on 28 November will be processed by midday on 3 December. Staff Requests received after 28 November are not guaranteed to be processed by the payroll deadline. The usual turnaround timings for gradings apply (ten working days).

Support requests for December payroll Tuesday 4 December

Requests for assistance associated with pay arrangements in December should be received by the HRIS Support Centre by 3 p.m. on 4 December.  This is to ensure that sufficient time is available for the team to address your queries ahead of the 5 December deadline.

 

News, Updates & Reminders for Personnel Users

New & updated Quick Reference Guides

Please note that new quick reference guides are now available.  In addition, changes have been made to the quick reference guides since the October bulletin.  The amended guides are listed below with details of the changes made, which are also included at the start of each guide.

New

IP6: Tracking Changes and Correcting Records

This new QRG was advertised in last month’s bulletin and contains the hints and tips provided to attendees at the Payroll Roadshows held in October.  This QRG explains the uses of ‘view position history’ and explains how to backdate pay changes, amongst other things.

PA2q: Set up a Non-Employee (Visiting Academic or Student)

 

Changes

PA2h: Set up a Non-Employee (including Agency Workers) - updated to clarify when to use this guide (see also new guide PA2q above) and that full hierarchy to be completed not just Pay Administered by.

PA9: Amend Start Date (pre-arrival) – guidance on when to use this guide amended.

FD5: Approve/Reject Salary & Allowances – various changes (see post it)

FD8: New Starter Checker Reports – QRG removed as reports no longer live.

CH4: Change New Allowance - note on Reference field added.

CH5: Changes: Pay (retention) - note added regarding reference to new QRG IP6 (see below) for additional guidance.

CH15: Manage Sabbaticals  - note added to confirm this covers unpaid leave where individual is being employed elsewhere.  Details added re deemed or advance entitlement.

CH17: Changes: Increment due date - introduction updated to clarify when this guide is relevant.

CH22: Changes: Unpaid Leave - guidance in the introduction clarifies when this guide is relevant.

IP3: Manage IPOs -  guidance on use of Review dates added.

 

Other Documents

List of Allowances  – holiday allowances removed

New Online learning modules for Approvers and Read-only users

Several Online Learning Modules have now been uploaded providing additional guidance for Approvers and Read-only users by taking you through various user steps, providing images of the system and helpful pointers.  These modules supplement the existing QRGs.

Contact names for departmental use re: transfers etc.

We have received a very good response to our email regarding the creation of a list of key contacts for each department.  The key contact will act as an initial point of contact if personnel colleagues from outside the department have queries about shared posts, employee history etc.  Thank you to everyone who has supplied contact details for inclusion on the new webpage.  The information is being collated and will be published online toward the end of November. You will receive an email confirming the location of this webpage when it is available. 

If you would still like to supply a contact for inclusion on this list, please e-mail the person’s name, telephone number and e-mail address to HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk as soon as possible.

System changes

A number of changes have been implemented during the recent system downtimes arranged to support the payroll implementation.

a) Rehires and promotions of appointments

Fixes have been applied to correct some inconsistent behaviour when handling rehires and promotions of appointments (i.e. when someone leaves a primary appointment and the existing secondary takes its place).  It is possible that users will encounter issues in these areas while the parallel run of data in the payroll module is at a different stage (currently reflects September’s position) to the data in the personnel module (currently end of November).  See below for more details. 

b) ADDLAB

This data has been cleared down and will be rekeyed as required by the payroll project.  As per existing guidance, please ensure all payslip address changes are confirmed to Payroll by email.

c) Pay Group 10

All person records, including dormant records, assigned to pay group 10 (the old weekly pay group used for casual workers) have now been moved to pay group 20.  It will no longer be necessary to request a transfer between groups when rehiring a casual worker.

d) Increment dates

The October standard increment has now been applied for all eligible employees.  The record is now visible in CoreHR.  Future increments will be processed automatically as per advice we sent to users in the September bulletin.

e) Salary approval lines for new starters

As a result of the work in the payroll module, new starters have been showing two lines of salary approval (one for the department and one for payroll).   The system now shows only one, just like salary changes.

Current issues

The HRIS User Group has requested that a new section be added to our website to provide information on known current issues with the system.  We are working on developing this page.  At the moment there are a number of issues that are temporary and interim pending the implementation of the payroll module.  The causes behind these issues are varied and their duration often brief as the payroll project moves on with its work and fixes are made in the system.  For this reason, current, temporary issues will be advised via the user bulletin. Less transitory issues will be placed on the new webpage.

 

a) Department approved changes showing as outstanding

Now that the payroll module is active in the system and the second level (payroll) of salary approval is active department approved salaries now show as outstanding until payroll has completed their approval. To check the status of your changes, users should refer to the report “PERDEP20_Monthly Personnel Changes”.

This report shows whether changes have been approved within the department.  Please note, there is an issue with one tab in the report however, which means that the department approval status cannot be viewed for allowances.  This issue has been referred to Core.

b) Impact on personnel users of payroll being ‘run’

Payroll is being run quite frequently in the payroll module in live at present – not to genuinely process a payroll as this is being managed in Midland Trent but - to gain the benefit of fixes to data and software and receive an update on the progress of the work on parallel running.

When payroll is running personnel users are prevented from making changes in areas of the system that have the potential to affect the payroll calculations.  This manifests in one of two ways:

  1. ‘Amend pay rate’ button disappears on appointment details screen
  2. The following message is displayed when starting a new appointment. Users should cancel at this point and try again in about 30 minutes.

 Department approved changes error

If you are further in the process of setting up a new appointment when the payroll run begins, you may see a different message, however, you will need to cancel your work and repeat it later.   

To minimise the risk of encountering this issue, users may wish to avoid entering appointment and pay related data when payroll is being run.  To enable you to organise your work, the table below outlines the times when it is possible that payroll may be run during the lifespan of the payroll project.  We will update you in the new year on the plans for running payroll once the CorePay module is live.

Times when payroll may be run during preparations for payroll go-live:
Dates Early morning Lunchtime Evening
Generally Before 8.30am 1.00 - 2.00 p.m After 5.00 p.m
5 days up to and including admin day Before 8.15 a.m Payroll won't be run at lunchtime at this point in the month After 6.00 p.m
NB: these arrangements will be updated once payroll is live.

 

c) Processing rehires

Because we are parallel running in the payroll module, and the data held there is currently in September whilst the personnel records are currently in November, this sometimes has an impact when attempting to rehire staff.  For example if someone left in October, and needs to be rehired now, it can only be processed in the personnel module once the payroll module is updated. A different approach is to be followed in these cases so if you should encounter this situation, please contact the HRIS Support Centre for guidance.

Once a rehire has been set up in the system, their record will remain dormant even after their appointment is commenced, until they are processed in payroll. In future, this will usually be within a week or two but whilst the parallel run activity is underway, there may be a longer delay in some cases.  Please note, this does not affect the arrangements for paying these rehires – their details are passed to Payroll for payment via the Trent system.

d) October funding changes

The report used by Payroll for capturing funding changes was run incorrectly for October with the result that a number of changes were not reflected in the October payroll.  Please be aware that the October reports have been rerun and the data has now been entered into Midland Trent effective for November (as appropriate).   

e) A note on interim arrangements

You will be aware that pending go-live of the CorePay module, the current method of passing information to Payroll relies on reports being used by Payroll to enter into Midland Trent, the data that has been entered by departments and divisions in Core.  On a monthly basis, this data is passed from Trent to OPENdoor to enable payroll costing reports to be produced from there.  Keeping all of these systems in step is complex. 

If you are concerned that the data you have entered into CoreHR may not be processed by Payroll, the Payroll team are happy for you to contact them directly (especially regarding leavers) but only once you are certain that all your data has been entered and approved correctly and within the payroll timeframes, within CoreHR.  To do this, please run your reports in Core to check that the data has been entered and approved as required. 

Hints, tips & important reminders

a) Duplicate employees

Before setting up a new employee in the system, please ensure you search for employees –NI number works best – as part of the appointment process to double check if an employee is (or was) already with the University.  The system operates on the basis of a single record for each individual, and it is extremely difficult to correct records where duplication has occurred. 

b) Deleting allowances

Allowances cannot be deleted once they have been paid – this is consistent with QRG advice never to delete an allowance, but to call support if this needs to happen.

c) How to find employee service dates

Some departments have asked about where they can find service dates for employees who joined the University prior to 1 January 2012. This data has been migrated into a person User Defined Field (UDF) named ‘Service Dates’ as a temporary holding place pending a development from Core to enhance the ‘Service Details’ areas to our specification.

Until otherwise informed therefore, please refer to the data held in the UDF ‘Service Dates’ for anyone who joined the University prior to 1 January 2012. Go to ‘Person Profile > Other details > Service Dates’ to find two date fields “Oxford Start Date”, and “Continuous Service Date” as held previously on OPENdoor. (For anyone joining the University after that date, refer to the service dates area in the Person Profile > Service Details.) We will inform you about how to work with this information again once the Core development is complete.

Please refer to the table below for details on how this data is currently reflected in the ‘Service Dates’ UDF.

PERSON Profile>Other Details>Service Dates

'Service Dates' field 1 Oxford Start Date
'Service Dates' field 2 Cont. Service Date

NB: If you have any questions about the data held here, please do not change it. Instead, contact hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk and let us know.

d) Direct appointments – Diversity and Equal Opportunities Staff Starter Survey

Please remember that the Diversity and Equal Opportunities Staff Starter Survey Form (form SSSF(HRIS)) should be circulated to all new staff who have not previously completed an e-recruitment monitoring form, i.e. all direct appointments. This form was provided as part of the CoreHR correspondence templates packs during implementation and should already be installed on your C: drive.

The University requires a full set of this data for a range of Equal Opportunities initiatives including Athena Swan, as well as for the HESA return.

Preparation for REF

As part of the preparations for submission to REF in November next year, staff data is being provided by PRAS (via officers in divisions) to Unit of Assessment (UOA) Coordinators for consideration.  UOAs are sometimes analogous to departments, or may be comprised of groupings of staff across different departments.  It is possible that requests will be made directly to departmental administrators for corrections to be made to data held in Core e.g. to the academic employment function and staff classification (category and sub-category in Core).  The standard guidance provided to users in the QRGs should cover all such requests.  

Personnel Reports

New versions of several of the existing personnel reports are being tested currently.  These updated versions incorporate feedback received from users in the October workshops as well as change requests received from departments via contact with the HRIS Support Centre. These updated reports will be released in December.

As the new versions of the reports are released the reporting page on our website will be updated.

Fellowships – assistance required!

Calling all Departmental Administrators – are you interested in being able to report on individuals who are on fellowships?

If so we need your help. The way in which fellowships are managed varies across the university.  So that we can develop user-friendly processes and meaningful reports we need to find out more about the specific way in which fellowships are managed in your department. If you would like to contribute to this investigation please can you contact Roberta.burtsal@it.ox.ac.uk.

Payroll Project

Update on Payroll timescales - Main payroll going live in early 2013

On 12 November, the following message was sent to users of CoreHR from Alison Cross, Head of Personnel Services:

The parallel running of the main University payroll on Trent and CoreHR has revealed some data migration issues, as well as the need for some software changes. These are taking longer than expected to resolve. As a result, the planned go-live of the Core Payroll module at the end of November will need to be postponed. As December is a short payroll month, we will not implement the new system until early 2013. The new go-live date will be communicated as soon as it is confirmed.  Additional resource has been allocated to the payroll project to accelerate the data reconciliation and complete the parallel runs of the new payroll system.

In the meantime, please continue with the existing arrangements for the use of CoreHR.  Note also that the changes outlined in the communication of 10 October (in anticipation of payroll go-live in November) will now not take effect until early 2013 when the payroll goes live. These include:

  • new payslips for all employees;
  • changed employee numbers for some employees (primarily for new starters in 2012);
  • new payroll costings reports to be produced from CoreHR instead of OPENdoor;
  • new format overtime/temporary data take-on spreadsheets (for current users ); and
  • the removal of the Oxford Pay Group field.

We will update you as soon as practicable on the revised implementation date, and please be assured that we will provide further information to you in good time about the preparations for the introduction of CorePay, and when the changes listed above will take effect.

If you have any questions about this, please contact Anne Harkness via anne.harkness@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Key dates can be found on the Payroll project webpage.

Payroll costing report

Consultation on the new look payroll costing report took place during October. We are amending the report and once September data is complete in the payroll module, will be providing sample reports to various nominees for further review.  

Once the go-live date for payroll is confirmed, we will contact all users of these reports in OPENdoor about arrangements for gaining access to this report via the Core system.

News, Updates & Reminders for Recruitment Users

PDF Server

The HRIS Support Centre is currently investigating some issues relating to the application conversion process. Our main areas of investigation are the following;

  • Email notifications to users.
  • Missing applicant information following the merging of applications into the final PDF vacancy pack.

Currently the email notifications are configured to send a notification to the requestor once the PDF applications are completed. In the event that an error is encountered during the conversion process the requestor will be sent a notification email containing a reference number. In this instance you should contact the HRIS Support Centre and provide them with the details of the email.  Please do not attempt to repeat the conversion process.

On some occasions you may receive an error notification followed by a successful completion notification. This is often due to a delay on the PDF server due to a previous error on another request and may not be related to your request. In this instance you should check that the applications are complete and that they have converted as you would expect. In the event that they have not you should contact the HRIS Support Centre, providing details of the error notification, including the reference number. 

Recruitment reports

Last month, a new suite of reports was released to all recruitment administrators. These reports help you to track the status of applicants, vacancies, and referee requests. You can view data about where applicants saw vacancies advertised, their referee details and qualifications.  

Full details of the reports available can be found on our reporting page.  We are interested to receive your feedback on the new reports.  Please let us know by contacting the HRIS Support Centre.

HRIS User Support Arrangements

Staff changes and improving support arrangements

Since our last bulletin, our two HRIS Support Officers have joined the HRIS Support Centre.  The HRIS Analyst will join the team mid December. We plan to add a new section to the website in January, to introduce the team and explain their roles.

We have continued to work on improving the level of support provided to users of CoreHR; open incidents continue to be reviewed and additional knowledgeable resource will be redirected to help with support in the run up to the December payroll cut-off as was done in November.  We have received some positive feedback on the support provided during November and aim to build on this in December too. 

Whilst the Support Centre and the Reward team continue to receive a large proportion of their calls and emails in the days leading to payroll admin cut off, we noticed a slight levelling out of contact across the month which eased the position around payroll admin day.  You will note from the Key Dates & Deadlines section of this bulletin, that we are asking for calls to Support for December payroll to be made by 3.00 p.m. on 4 December to ensure the team have sufficient time to resolve your queries prior to the payroll cut-off deadline.   The team give priority to the most urgent queries which at this time of the month are those requiring intervention to enable pay to be processed.  They will of course, respond to requests for assistance after this time and date which has been set to assist in managing expectations of the support team, however, your assistance in working to this timeframe will be appreciated.

Changes to the organisation structure and internal restructuring

Where new departments and associated codes are created, the HRIS Support Centre is notified by PRAS.  This is so that the necessary changes can be made to the organisation structure in CoreHR.  We will contact the departments affected to establish the detail of the actions required and explain where we can use specific functionality in the system to undertake the changes on behalf the department.

Where however, departments organise internal restructures affecting significant numbers of staff, we will not be advised by PRAS.  In these circumstances, please contact the Support Centre directly to learn more about the assistance available to reflect these changes in Core.

Who to contact for support?

To ensure that the correct people receive the necessary information required to provide you with support, please see below.

 

1.  Staff requests and advertising vacancies: for information on the status of your staff request, please contact the Reward Team on reward@admin.ox.ac.uk or for academic posts only, Elaine Eastgate from the Senior Appointments Team on elaine.eastgate@admin.ox.ac.uk, quoting the staff request number in your email.  For information on the status of your job advert, please contact the Adverts Team on adverts@admin.ox.ac.uk, quoting vacancy number in your email.  he HRIS Support Centre is unable to advise on the progress of individual staff requests or adverts and will always refer you to the relevant team as appropriate.  (NB: questions regarding the staff request or recruitment process or a technical issue affecting your use of the staff request facility should be directed to the support team.)

 

2.  Data corrections and complex questions: where corrections to data are sought from the support team, please submit your request via an email, ensuring that you include in the body of the text any relevant reference numbers such as employee number, appointment id, post number, staff request number, vacancy id etc.  Please also include the full name of the member staff (i.e. including both forename and surname), the process you were attempting to follow, information that has been entered on the system and the information that should be entered on the system.  Please note, we are not requesting an essay! Providing this information in the email ensures that we have the relevant information correctly and fully in the first instance, thereby removing the need to contact you for more details.  

 

If you have (or think you might have) a complex issue to resolve, please treat this as for data corrections, supplying all the key reference details and a brief explanation of the process you are following.  If it becomes too complicated to explain, please let us know that alongside this key information and we will phone you back or email for the rest of the picture.  We will need the basic information however, in order to get in touch.

 

3.  Funding details:  We often receive questions about funding details not being reflected in your payroll costings when they are appearing correctly in the personnel module.   Please be aware that the payroll costings information reflects the funding details entered to the Midland Trent system by the payroll team.  There may be mismatches between data you have entered to Core and Trent either because the costing information changed before or around the time your department went live with Core or because it hasn’t been reflected in the reports provided to payroll.  Improvements have been made to the procedures for running these reports, however, if the data looks correct to you in Core but is not correct in your payroll costings, please speak to your payroll officer to check what has been input to Midland Trent before contacting the HRIS Support Centre.

All other HRIS queries should be referred to the HRIS Support Centre. Thank you for your help.

Contact details for the team are:  hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.