November HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

How to...?

Data Quality

Projects Update

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines

News and reminders

New form for casual payments

As detailed in last month’s Bulletin, the Casual Payments Form has been updated to include a section for right to work data.  The revised form is now available on the Payroll webpage.  You must submit all requests for payments for new casual workers on the updated form. To avoid unnecessary repetition and reduce time for departments, a new form has been introduced for repeat payments for casual workers.

Please ensure that you make everyone in your department who completes and submits casual payments aware of the new forms.

EJRA historic data

The HRIS Data Services team have recently provided Divisional Offices with a list of employees in their division who have previously extended their employment beyond the EJRA, according to records held by Personnel Services.  Once the details have been checked and confirmed, the Data Services team will update the employee records in CoreHR.  We expect to have this completed before the Christmas break. To remind yourself how to view and update EJRA records, see CH27 Recording and Maintaining EJRA Data (175kb)

Using Back Office and Discoverer at the same time

We are aware that some users have experienced issues opening the Discoverer reporting tool if they already have a Back Office session open.

The reliable workaround to this issue is for the user to log out of their Back Office session before logging into Discoverer.  However, users may find that using different internet browsers for your Discoverer session and your Back Office session will allow you to log into both at the same time.

Internet Explorer is recommended for Back Office use, but you may wish to try alternative browsers for use in Discoverer.  This approach is not an officially supported way of working around this issue (for which, see above) but you may find it helpful to pursue. Your local IT support may have preferences for which alternative browser you could use.

To ensure that Discoverer will open in a browser, at a minimum you must ensure that the popup blocker is set up to allow ‘’ sites to open; this is normally set up using exceptions within the popup blocking software.  The help functionality within your chosen browser or popup blocking software will provide information about how to set this up.

You may also find it helpful to set the System Availability page as your homepage or a bookmark in your alternative browser, to allow you to quickly access Discoverer when you open this browser.

How to...?

…provide clear guidance to applicants on how to apply

A number of applicants have contacted us where the guidance on how to apply, as detailed in the job description and selection criteria, is confusing.

To remind you, there are two application form templates available in e-Recruitment.  The ‘Full Application’ includes specific sections for ‘Employment History,’ and ‘Qualifications and Training’ and is generally designed for jobs in grades 1-5. The ‘Short Application’, which is usually for jobs in grade 6 and above, does not include these sections but asks for a CV to be attached. Both applications require a supporting statement to be attached outlining how the applicant meets the selection criteria for the role.

In both cases you must update the ‘How to apply’ section of the Job Description and Selection Criteria document accordingly, i.e. when the ‘Short Application’ is selected it should clearly state that a CV should be attached as part of the application.

Examples of confusing guidance include requesting a CV where the Full Application has been used (thereby requiring the applicant to provide duplicate information) or using the Short Application but failing to request a CV (resulting in no details on employment history or qualifications).

Before sending your vacancies for approval, please check that you have selected the correct application form and included the relevant instruction in the ‘How to apply’ section of the job description document.

Data Quality

Mx title and Pension membership records

Please be aware that although the University now recognises the Mx title, and this can be recorded on the employee’s personal record on Core, the Mx title may not automatically be reflected on the employee’s pension membership record.  

The University of Oxford Staff Pension Scheme (OSPS) recognises the title and is able to reflect this on its administration system.  However, USS, NHS, MRC and SAUL pension schemes, all of which are external to the University, have yet to agree to recognise the Mx title and update their systems. USS Ltd is currently looking to update their system to accept the title but this is unlikely to happen until next year.  Until these systems can accommodate the title of Mx, the employee’s title will be recorded as Ms or Mr based on the person’s legal sex.

If an employee queries the title on their pension record, please advise them to contact the University Pension Office.

Projects Update

HRIS v20 Project

The proposed project to upgrade CoreHR to v20 (rather than version 19 as initially expected) will be considered for approval by IT PRAG and IT Committee on 21 and 25 November respectively.  The project is the first step in a broader HRIS Development Programme, the detail of which will be considered by the HR Systems Steering Committee at its meetings in Michaelmas and Trinity terms. We will provide a further update in December’s Bulletin and on the Projects pages of our website.

Evaluation of the HRIS Programme

The Report on the evaluation of the HRIS Programme (342kb) is now available to view on our website. The report was written for Personnel Committee and as such is formatted and presented for this audience. The lessons learned from this Programme will inform the approach taken to the HRIS v20 Project.

HRIS User Support

Christmas closure arrangements

The HRIS Support Centre will officially be closed from 5pm on Tuesday 23rd December 2014 until 8.30am on Friday 2 January 2015.  However, a skeleton staff will be available until 4pm on Wednesday 24 December to support any urgent queries received by email that day.  The phones will be diverted to voicemail so please email if urgent support is needed.  On 2 January 2015, priority will be given to resolving queries raised by applicants over the Christmas period. 

Support for applicants

A message will be placed on the University’s Jobs and Vacancies webpages advising applicants of the office closure over the Christmas period with the dates as above.  Behind the scenes, we will be monitoring the use and availability of the online recruitment system.  Please do not set any closing dates for the period Wednesday 24 December 2014 to Friday 2 January 2015 inclusive to ensure time is available to resolve any technical issues experienced by applicants.

Monthly deadlines for December will be earlier than usual to reflect the early payday (see monthly deadlines below).  Note that, in addition to the usual deadlines listed, the last date to submit gradings and regradings in order for them to be completed before Christmas is 10 December.

Feedback from Reports Workshop

Our first reporting workshop ‘Using HRIS: Running Reports with Discoverer’ was held this month and was very well received by those who attended.  We received some constructive suggestions for improvements that we will implement in January’s course, as well as some very positive comments, a few of which we thought we would share with you:

This training made me feel... much more confident in how to run reports and which to choose in different situations.

I liked... the opportunity to run reports with live data.

This training made me feel... keen to run reports, check accuracy of data and improve process and practice in the workplace.

Very useful indeed… I not only learnt much more about reporting but was given some useful tips on using Excel.

I'd also like to say... it was very good and I will recommend to other colleagues.

I'd also like to say... how helpful and approachable all the trainers were - the course struck exactly the right balance between demonstration and independent work.

This training, which will be held quarterly, is available to all users of e-Recruitment and Personnel. The next session will be held on Tuesday 6 January at 1.30pm. To book your place, please email the HRIS Support Centre.

HRIS User Group update

The HRIS User Group met on Wednesday 5 November.  The group reviewed the latest additions to the HRIS Enhancement Log and discussed the HRIS Support Centre’s plans to work with the group to prioritise the items and make additional information available on the website relating to outcomes and timescales.

The group was also given a brief update on the upgrade project, the reporting review group, development of HRIS training provision, and plans to introduce a dynamic 'business calendar' that users can download to their Outlook calendars, detailing all HRIS-related activity and deadlines.

We will post the minutes of this meeting on the HRIS webpages in the next couple of weeks.  The next meeting will take place on 11 February 2015.

CoreHR Planned downtime – 26 November

As detailed in our email of 17 November, CoreHR will be unavailable from 2pm on Wednesday 26th November until approximately 7pm the same day.  Please ensure you are logged out of the system before this time.

This downtime is required to apply an enhancement to the Payroll interface to Oracle Financials.

All modules will be affected by the downtime, including the applicant interface in e-Recruitment.  A notice will be placed on the Jobs and Vacancies page alerting applicants.  If you have any vacancies closing on this day and need help generating shortlisting packs before the downtime starts please contact us.

We will send a further reminder e-mail on Tuesday 25th November. Thank you for your assistance.

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: December Payroll

Please also refer to the December 2014 Payroll Cycle Diagram (20kb)

Thursday 20 November - 6pm November 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 November's payroll run.
Friday 21 and Monday 24 November 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 1 December Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Thursday 4 December. 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).
Wednesday 3 December Casual Payments Deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Thursday 4 December 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 4 December Support Requests for December 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.
Monday 8 December - 6pm December 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 16 December December 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.