April 2020 bulletin

News and reminders

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The University will shortly communicate how it plans to implement the Government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS), enabling us to reclaim 80% of an employee’s salary costs (up to a cap of £2,500 per month) for staff who have been ‘furloughed’ as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

The scheme, which is currently being piloted by six departments, will require CorePersonnel users to enter details of any periods of furlough as an appointment change in CoreHR. This will allow us to report the required information to HMRC.

To support this change, a new appointment Action (“Furlough”) and several Reason Codes (all prefixed with “Furlough”) are now available in CoreHR. Unless you are a pilot department, please only use these new codes once the scheme has been rolled out across the University and we have published our QRG for the system steps.

To note: no department should attempt to furlough members of staff before the guidance is cascaded to all departments w/c 27 April.

As we approach the transition to online-only payslips in June (and with the current situation affecting payslip distribution), it is important to ensure employees can access HR Self-Service (HRSS) and view their payslips.

When setting up new starters, please ensure that the details on the employee's University card application match those entered on CoreHR. It is particularly important to check the name, which should match that provided on the employee's passport/right to work document in both cases. Where the name or other details do not match, this causes interface issues between CoreHR and the Card system, which can prevent their subsequent setup on HRSS.

Once your new employee has received their Single Sign On (SSO), you should ask them to check they are able to access HRSS. If they receive an error message (e.g. 'something has gone wrong, no employee mapping found'), you should provide the employee's details (including SSO) to the HRIS Support Centre for resolution. Please ensure all queries come to us via a CoreHR user, not from the employee directly.

As noted in the March bulletin and previous communications, new legislation relating to contracts came into effect from 6 April. The legislation requires additional information be included in contracts, and that all new employees and workers receive contracts on or before their first day in post.

Updated versions of non-CoreHR contract templates and casual agreements are available on the HR Support Contract templates webpage. These can be accessed using the usual contracts password. If you need a Marie Sklodowska Curie contract template, please contact kate.butler@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Due to issues around Covid-19, it has not been possible to update the CoreHR versions of these templates. To avoid confusion, the CoreHR contract templates have now been removed. Users should continue to use the non-CoreHR templates until further notice. We thank you for your understanding during this challenging period.

The amended Casual Payroll Submission Spreadsheet released in January has gone down well, with several of you reporting that you find it easier and quicker to record payroll data. In addition, the changes have assisted with the recording of data in a more standard and consistent manner, particularly with respect to pay rates. We are now proceeding with an additional change to the sheet, to allow you to choose for the automatic generation of holiday pay lines for a work pay line. We will be asking for assistance in testing these changes before issuing the sheet to everyone: if you would like to be involved in this testing, please contact martin.mcgovern@devoff.ox.ac.uk.

We would also like to report that scoping for a pilot project to introduce time-sheeting in CoreHR for casual workers has started, with HR Systems working with the Saïd Business School in the first instance. A business case is being prepared and will be put forward to IT Committee later this month.

Given the current circumstances the training team are working from home and have therefore adapted the training delivery format for April’s standard classroom training.  This may continue for upcoming months based on future government advice and we will continue to update the descriptions on the University’s course booking system and our training pages of the HRIS website, see a summary below:

  • HRIS CoreHR: Using eRecruitment – Remote individual ‘surgery style’ sessions via Microsoft TEAMS.
  • HRIS Using CorePersonnel – Remote group sessions via Microsoft TEAMS.
  • Maintaining Casual Worker Records in CoreHR - Remote group sessions via Microsoft TEAMS.
  • HRIS CoreHR: Running Reports with Discoverer – The April course has been cancelled and a new date will be rescheduled in due course. In the meantime please refer to our Quick Reference Guide and video available from our website and get in touch if you would like further support.

The HRIS training team will contact delegates directly, so new users can continue to book as per the current process.  For any training queries please email hris.training@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Projects update

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The CoreHR Upgrade project is currently progressing as planned, with the aim of going live in the summer. We aim to confirm specific timescales once we know more about how Covid-19 will impact the project. Visit our website for a reminder of what we are aiming to deliver in this phase.

We are aware of the challenges facing some users in carrying out their usual duties, and aim to adapt our approach to support you as best we can. Please get in touch if you would like to raise any particular concerns. Like many, the project team are now working remotely and can be contacted at corehrupgrade@admin.ox.ac.uk. Team members are also available via MS Teams.

Calling all Personnel users – can you spare a few minutes?

If you have access to CorePersonnel, please take a few minutes to tell us how you use this aspect of the system. Your responses will help us to support you when Personnel moves to the Portal later this year. Click here to get started. The survey will close on Friday 8 May.


Plans to move to online-only payslips and P60s in June 2020 remain, therefore please continue to use the communications toolkit provided to inform staff of this change in the coming months.

You will be aware that the Finance Office are currently unable to distribute paper payslips due to Covid-19, however employees can continue to access their payslips online via HR Self-Service. Please refer to the HR Self-Service FAQs for guidance on accessing this service at home. During these restrictions we are exploring the possibility of providing HR Self-Service access to casual staff, and will be in touch with further details shortly. Any outstanding paper payslips will be distributed as soon as the restrictions have been lifted.

Update from the Staff Immigration Team

The Home Office has issued new guidance on undertaking Right to Work (RTW) checks in cases where checks cannot be carried out on original documents in the normal way in light of Covid-19. This applies to all right to work checks carried out from 30 March, whether for new starters or repeat checks for existing workers/employees. For checks carried out before this date, previous guidance issued by the Staff Immigration Team on undertaking RTW checks applies.

New temporary RTW procedure
  • Ask the worker/employee to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original RTW documents via email or using a mobile app.
  • Arrange a video call with the worker/employee – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents.
  • Record the date you made the check and mark it as “Adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.
  • Add RTW record to CoreHR as normal and indicate in the notes section that “Adjusted check due to COVID-19”.
  • Make a record of all individuals who have a RTW check made under this procedure.
After Covid-19 measures end

For all worker/employees still active whose names have been recorded with an adjusted check, and within eight weeks of measures ending:

  • Conduct a new RTW check with the original documents.
  • Mark this check with the wording “The individual’s contract commenced on [insert date]. The prescribed right to work check was undertaken on [insert current date] due to COVID-19.”
  • Amend your list of List B’s if required.

If a worker/employee does not have documents or cannot provide copies, or if you have issues, please contact the Staff immigration Team.

Update from the HR Analytics Team

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Target End Date errors

To enable accurate central reporting it is essential that users aim to clear all Target End Date (end date of fixed-term contracts) errors as soon as possible, and by the end of April.

The standard data quality report: ‘HRINFO01_Data Quality Validation 2019-20 v26’ will highlight all errors for records held in your area of responsibility. Below is some guidance regarding the error messages to be cleared and how to amend them:


Error message in report: Action QRG/Guidance

Target End Date missing

Employee Status indicates a fixed term contract, but no Target End Date is present against the contract Add Target End Date to contract or amend Employee Status to reflect that the contract is not fixed term To apply changes QRG: IP6 page12

Non-Fixed Term with Target End Date

Employee Status indicates NOT a fixed term contract, but Target End Date is present against the contract Amend Employee Status OR remove Target End Date, as applicable To apply changes QRG: IP6 page12

Target End Date has lapsed

Target end Date is in the past Add correct Target End Date To update record QRG: CH9 - contract extension

Alternatively you can run: ‘PERDEP02_FTC End Dates

In this report you need to run and check for records returned in the following tabs:

  1. FTCs due to end (Excel) - to identify those that require extending in the near future
  2. Missing FTC end dates - to amend use To apply changes QRG: IP6 page12
  3. Lapsed FTC end dates - to amend use To update record QRG: CH9 - contract extension
  4. Target end date misuse - to remove the target end date use To apply changes QRG: IP6 page12

Any questions or queries on running the reports should be sent to: hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk



Report name  Report

In addition, to enable accurate central reporting it is very important at this time to close down vacancies that have now closed but which are still open on the system.

You can do this using tab one (called “Step 1 - Advertised vacancy validation”) of the Discoverer report: “HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2019-20 V26”.

Once you have exported your data you will be able to filter the list using column “Vacancy Status” to look at all vacancies which do not have a Vacancy Status of ‘CLOSED’.

Then review the errors using column titled “Overall vacancy status actions”, and update as appropriate, using column “Recruitment status actions” as a guide.

Guidance on how to close a vacancy can be found here: https://hrsystems.admin.ox.ac.uk/recruiting-staff

Any questions or queries on running the reports should be sent to: hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk



The 2019/20 Data Quality Policy is now available at: https://hrsystems.admin.ox.ac.uk/data-quality-0

If you are responsible for keying data to CoreHR or for running the data quality validation reports it is essential that you read the policy and understand your responsibilities.

HRIS user support

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

This month's deadlines

Please also refer to the May_2020_payroll_cycle_diagram.pdf

Thu 23 to Sun 26 Apr No user input Two clear working days are required during which users cannot enter data into the personnel module and navigation to menu options under “Core|Personnel > Maintenance” should be avoided, to enable the payroll to be run (all other modules are unaffected).
Fri 1 May Staff request deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Tuesday 5 May. 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).
Tue 5 May Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Wed 6 May 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.
Wed 6 May Support requests for May 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.
Mon 11 May - 5pm May 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.

Wed 20 May

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 this month's payroll run.