November HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

Projects Update

Update from the HR Information Team

New and Updated Documents and Reports

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines

News and reminders

CoreHR Downtime – Tuesday 29 November 2016

Please note that, as communicated in our e-mail to all users on 9 November, CoreHR will be unavailable from 7.00am on Tuesday 29 November to allow for Technical Services work to replace the University’s backbone network (the UBN) with a new network (Odin) around the University’s main data centres. We have arranged for delivery of the quarterly Oracle CPU patches to follow on immediately from this work to minimise overall downtime for the month. We anticipate all services will be restored by 1.30pm on Tuesday 29 November but ask that you do not attempt to log back in until we send a confirmation email advising that the system is available again. 

This system downtime will affect all modules of the CoreHR Back Office and Staff Request Portal. The applicant portal will also be unavailable during this outage, so please ensure you do not schedule any vacancies to close on this date. A message will be placed on the Jobs and Vacancies pages advising applicants of this. 

Earlier supplementary deadline and extended no input days

As detailed in our e-mail to all users on 15 November, the supplementary payroll deadline for November has been brought forward to the 21 November 2016 extending the period of ‘No User Input’ for November by one day. No user input days will therefore be from the 22 November to 24 November 2016 inclusive.

This is to allow Payroll extra time to check and process the payroll, which this month includes the implementation of the backdated August 2016 pay uplift combined with increased complexity of pension contributions since October 2016.

Please do not enter any personnel data on these days unless you have been instructed to do so by a member of the Payroll team. Other areas of the system such as the recruitment, staff request portal and reporting modules are unaffected.  

Change to casual payroll deadline

The Casual payroll deadline for December has been brought forward to 2 December 2016. Spreadsheets and forms for all first and repeat payments must be submitted to Payroll by midnight on this date. Remember, if you are live with the new casual payment process (“phase one”), you must also create and commence a new appointment against the CASUAL or CASTCH bucket post for every new casual worker due to be paid in December, and ensure the salary lines are approved by this date.

For full details of all deadline dates for December, please refer to This Month’s Deadlines at the end of this bulletin.

Awards for Excellence 2016/17

Following the launch of this year’s Reward and Recognition Scheme, we wanted to remind you of the process and mechanisms for recording and reporting on nominations and awards made under the scheme.

You must record all nomination and award information in the relevant UDFs in CorePersonnel. The primary purpose of capturing this information is to allow for local and central data analysis in relation to the scheme. This is only possible if all nominations and awards are entered into Core. 

Please note the following:

  • You must create a new UDF for each nomination under this year’s scheme. If the employee also received a nomination under the 2015/16 scheme (for either a recognition payment or an award for excellence), you must end the existing UDF when you add the new one. It is crucial that you adhere to the guidance in QRG CH26 Reward and Recognition Scheme regarding the UDF start and end dates to ensure accurate reporting.
  • If an employee was awarded a recognition payment after being nominated for an award for excellence you should complete the ‘R&R Awards for Excellence’ UDF only - do not also complete the ‘R&R Recognition’ UDF.
  • The Data Service team can no longer offer the facility for departments (other than Data Services users) to submit their recurrent awards to them for entry into CorePersonnel. Departments will need to enter the recurrent award directly into the system, following the guidance in the QRG (we are aware that most of you are doing this yourselves already). Data Services users should continue to use the existing process and complete the relevant form available on the SharePoint site.

We have made some slight changes to the QRG to emphasise these points. The guide also covers notifying Payroll of the awards made (unchanged from last year) in addition to a step-by-step guide on completing the UDFs.

Report PERDEP11_R&R Scheme Eligibility can assist you in determining who is eligible for consideration under the scheme. PERDEP47_R&R Scheme Monitoring is available to enable you to analyse nominations and awards in your department or division.

Updating applicant statuses - a reminder from the Equality and Diversity Unit

Accurate Recruitment Monitoring data is critical to the success of a departmental Athena SWAN application and it is the responsibility of departments to ensure that the underlying data on recruitment is accurate and up to date. Don’t forget to update applicant statuses throughout the recruitment process, to reflect the progress of each individual applicant, including for academic vacancies. At a minimum, the following applicant statuses must be used:

  • Applied (automatically applied by the system as part of the ‘submit web applicants’ process)
  • Shortlisted (manually added by the recruitment administrator)
  • Offer Made Personnel (manually added by the recruitment administrator)
  • Offer Accepted Personnel (manually added by the recruitment administrator)

These statuses must be updated even if you are not using the system to generate any correspondence or e-mail. For guidance on updating applicant statuses please refer to REC00_Recruitment Basics.

New UDF for ‘Outside Appointments’

The guidance on holding outside appointments (applicable to academic and related staff) has been revised and the changes were communicated in the PERS(16)06 Personnel Circular. The revised guidance clarifies how a day should be calculated, what records should be kept by departments and faculties, what type of appointments are covered by the Regulations, and recommends the amount by which employees’ salaries may be reduced if they exceed 30 days in an outside appointment. In light of these revisions, we have created a new UDF on Outside Appointments in CoreHR to ensure better record keeping and reporting. Departments are reminded that outside appointments that are subject to approval should be recorded in CoreHR against the individual’s record, as per the updated guidance in QRG: IP5.

A form is available on the Data Services SharePoint site for users of the HRIS Data Service to notify us of outside appointment data for their department.

A report will be available soon to help you track outside appointments held by your employees.  

Top tips from the Information Security team

The University's Information Security Team are producing a series of tips on keeping confidential data secure and have asked for our help to disseminate these as widely as possible to users of the University's key information systems.  You can find the full set of guidelines on the Information Security website. Remember, information security is not just an IT issue and all staff have a part to play in protecting University information. Making a few changes and being aware can make a big difference. Below are some tips on managing passwords:

Managing your passwords

You’re probably fed up with passwords and being told what to do with them but they are very important – they are the keys to your castle protecting vital information! They needn’t be a headache, there are some simple things that will make you more secure.

Never give your password to anyone. Ever.

This might seem blaringly obvious but there's little point having a cast-iron password that takes trillion of years to crack, if you let criminals operating online pinch it from right under your nose. IT Services will never ask for your password. You mustn’t share your password even with people you trust: your account is yours alone. If you need to share your mailbox, there are ways to delegate access: just speak with your local IT support.

Create different strong passwords for each account.

By having unique passwords you’ll limit the damage if someone gets access to one of your accounts. A mountain of a task? Not if you make a password manager do all the work for you. We have links to a few on our website, and you can download KeePass straight from the Oxford Applications Installer. If a password manager isn’t your cup of tea, there are other ways to do it – just go to I want to: Create strong passwords to have a look at the rest of our advice.

For further information, visit the Information Security website or contact: infosec@it.ox.ac.uk.

Projects Update

Improving the casual payment process

A review of the casual payment process has led to recommendations for a new efficient, streamlined process. The implementation of the new process has been split into two phases.

Phase one

Departments in phase one began using the new casual payment spreadsheet in November. Overall, the new process has gone smoothly. We have e-mailed the key contacts in each phase one department with some feedback and reminders. If you are involved in the casual payments process but have not received a copy of this e-mail, please speak to your departmental contact or e-mail HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk. The key lessons learned from the first month can be summarised as follows:

  • Project codes on the spreadsheet must be in the CoreHR format (our new report can help with this)
  • The appointment ID provided must be for a valid appointment for that individual
  • Spreadsheets must be password protected with the agreed password and e-mailed to payroll.casuals@admin.ox.ac.uk
  • Payments must be submitted as soon as possible after the work has been undertaken (e-mail HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk for advice about any old payments)
  • You must submit a new register of authorised signatories for casual payments

We are updating the quick reference guide PA11 to reflect feedback from the first payroll deadline. Please make sure that you are referring to the latest version available on our webpage.

Don’t forget that all departments in phase one will need to create and commence a new appointment against the CASUAL or CASTCH bucket post for every new casual worker due to be paid in December, and ensure the salary lines are approved by the casual payroll deadline. December is a shorter payroll processing period due to the early pay day.  It is therefore essential that you follow the guidance outlined in the briefing sessions and QRG PA11, to ensure that all payments can be processed on time. If you have any questions regarding the new process, please e-mail either HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk or payroll.casuals@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Phase two

Work has begun to plan the activity required to implement the new process in the remaining departments, which include all UAS departments and Data Services users. We are currently analysing the numbers of casual workers and payments in these departments and considering the range of possible options to support the new process. We will be in touch with all phase two departments before Christmas regarding the options available and the implications for existing arrangements as applicable to their current local arrangements.  In the meantime, phase two departments should continue with their existing process for administering casual worker payments.

Update from the HR Information Team

Athena SWAN staff data

Leavers and Turnover data for 2016 have been added to the Tableau dashboards. All data for Athena SWAN are now up-to-date. We will communicate the 2017 refresh time line when it is known. Please check the Athena Swan staff data webpages for the latest information and how to access Tableau. Email any queries to athena.staffdata@admin.ox.ac.uk

Clear HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2016-17

Please clear all red and amber data issues from the HRINFO01 report before the Christmas closure period. The report now has red error messages and amber advisory messages. We are keen to get all job text information completed as this is becoming more widely required for reporting. We will contact all departments who still have outstanding data issues in January.

The HR Information Team website provides guidance on entering the red data items highlighted in the report. Contact us on hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk if you have any new queries to raise with the team.

New and Updated Documents and Reports

New report for cost centres and project codes

We have created a new report PERDEP13_Active Cost Centres and Project Codes to enable you to search for active cost centres and project codes in CoreHR. You can search the report by entering any part of the code or description, either in the Core or Oracle format. The report will return all cost centres and project codes that match the criteria entered – showing both the Oracle and CoreHR format. This report may be particularly useful when completing casual payment forms and spreadsheets or submitting forms to Data Services. The report will be available to all Personnel users from Wednesday 23 November.

QRG updates

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

PA11 Managing Casual Worker Records (1,413kb)  
  1. Updated guidance on the Category codes to enter
  2. Updated guidance on ending appointments
  3. Guidance on collecting equality data has been amended
  4. Guidance added on entering cost allocations
Casual appointment decision tree (210kb)   *NEW*
PA2p Marie Curie Fellows and Researchers (263kb)   Updated to include clarification on pay group and entering salary and allowance details
ROb – Read only access to e–Recruitment (834kb)   *NEW*
RO Read only access to Personnel (1,134kb)   Guidance added on generating letters and forms.   
IP5 Capturing Outside Appointments (323kb)   Updated to include guidance on completion of the new UDF. 

 

Minor changes have been made to the guides shown below e.g. corrections:

PA2e Transfers Between Departments (467kb)   Hyperlink to HRIS contact list updated
CH26 Reward and Recognition Scheme (381kb)   Removed reference to sending recurrent increment forms to the Data Service team.

HRIS User Support

Christmas closure arrangements

The HRIS Support Centre will officially be closed from 5pm on Thursday 22 December 2016 until 8.30am on Tuesday 3 January 2017. However, a skeleton staff will be available until 4pm on Friday 23 December to support any urgent queries received by email that day. The phones will be diverted to voicemail so please email hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk if urgent support is needed. On 3 January 2017, priority will be given to resolving queries raised by applicants over the Christmas period. Please do not set any vacancy closing dates for the period Friday 23 December 2016 to Tuesday 3 January 2017 inclusive to ensure time is available to resolve any technical issues experienced by applicants.

Support for job 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.  

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: December Payroll

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 8 December 2016.

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

DATE(S) DEADLINEEXPLANATION 
Monday 21 November - 5pm 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.
Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 November inclusive No user input Three clear working days are required this month during which users cannot enter data into the personnel module, to enable the payroll to be run (all other modules are unaffected). We have extended November’s “no user input” period by one day to allow Payroll extra time to check and process the payroll, which this month includes the implementation of the backdated August 2016 pay uplift combined with increased complexity of pension contributions since October 2016.
Tuesday 29 November Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Friday 2 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).
Friday 2 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.
Friday 2 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.
Friday 2 December Support Requests for November 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.
Tuesday 6 December - 5pm 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.
Thursday 8 December Gradings and Regradings The last date to submit gradings and regradings in order for them to be completed before Christmas
Wednesday 14 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.