August 2021 bulletin

News and reminders

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As most of you will be aware from various communications over the past year, the Back Office will soon be phased out by the supplier.

We have now received confirmation that the Back Office will be ‘switched off’ on Monday 1 November. From this day, all processes will be completed in the Portal. Please note this applies to the Back Office Recruitment, Personnel and Payroll modules only. Users of other modules will not be affected by this change.

HR Systems has been preparing for this for some time, having already migrated Recruitment, Personnel (now People Management) and CorePay to the Portal. Work is now underway to review any remaining processes that are reliant on the Back Office, to ensure these are migrated (or alternative arrangements put in place) prior to 1 November.

If you are still using the Back Office and would like to gain more confidence in using the Portal, please contact our training team for support. As detailed in this month’s bulletin, we will soon be adopting Whatfix to provide in-system support for the Portal, which will be particularly useful for those yet to make the transition. Read the article for more details.

HR Systems has invested in a digital tool called Whatfix, to enable us to provide real-time system guidance within PeopleXD. Once live, users will be able to view hints and tips within the PeopleXD Portal, to help with completing particular processes.

The training team is currently looking for departments to be part of the pilot programme that we aim to launch in October. If you are interested in participating, please email

More information on Whatfix, including the launch date for all system users, will be made available in the coming months!

The 2021 national pay award for non-clinical staff has been announced. The new scaled rates will be set up in PeopleXD on 25 August. They will be visible and ready for use thereafter.

Salary rates individually agreed on appointment by the Senior Appointments Panel (SAP) (eg spot salaries for ALC6 and RSIV posts) will be available from 1 September.

The uplift will be implemented in the September payroll and backdated to 1 August 2021. 

An updated Casual Payment Submission Spreadsheet will be available from the Payroll website from 7 September. This version should be used for all casual payroll submissions after September payroll.

Full details of the pay award will be communicated via a circular PERS(21)05, which will be available later this month.

If you have any queries regarding the pay award, please contact the Reward team at

We are making steady progress on system enhancements recently prioritised by the Product Ownership Groups (POGs), from the portfolio of work. We are pleased to share that the first output will be the release of contract templates within Recruitment. This enables the issuing of contracts at an earlier stage – something which has been requested by numerous departments. We anticipate this will be delivered in September and further details will be communicated to Recruitment users closer to the time.  

This forms part of a continuous cycle of work that is being delivered by HR Systems, led and informed by the POGs. Other areas under investigation include:

  • Managing interview panels within the system;
  • Employee-driven onboarding and offboarding; and
  • System notifications and reminders.

We are currently assessing the viability of these features and will provide updates in due course.

Save the date for our next quarterly briefing, which will take place on Thursday 23 September from 10:05 - 10:55. This has been scheduled to coincide with the standard no user input period, which we hope will maximise your opportunity to attend. Look out for a calendar invitation which will be sent to all system users soon.

Please check our Known Issues and Common Queries web pages regularly to stay up-to-date with the latest issues, fixes and tips!

Recent updates:

  • The issue with some applicants missing when in ‘Generate Applications’ or ‘Generate document’ screens has now been resolved. However, vacancies already in progress on or prior to 3 August 2021 will still have this issue remaining, and therefore, the recommended workaround should continue to be followed. For more details visit the Known Issues page.
  • We have identified an issue with the Transfers process within the system, where you might not be able to follow the correct system steps. We are currently investigating this. In the meantime, where you know an employee is transferring from another University department, please ensure to follow the steps outlined in the How-To Guide: Transfer Between Departments, to ensure the correct process is followed. If it is unclear whether your new hire is transferring from within the University, please verify this before proceeding in the system.

Members of the Reward team are on annual leave at various times during August and September. This means that staff requests may take a little longer to authorise and we hope departments will understand. The good news is that we have a new HR Apprentice, Zoe Smith, who will begin processing staff requests which do not need evaluation, from the week beginning 23 August. This includes replacement/refills, so that departments can more swiftly advertise existing posts that are vacant.


Update from the HR Analytics Team

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Please continue to enter furlough start and end dates and the Appt: Part-time Furlough Weekly Hours UDF data by following the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS or ‘furlough’): system guidance in the same month in which the change occurs, and as early as practicable in the month.

Now that the end of the furlough scheme is approaching, please ensure that when an individual ends their period of furlough:

  1. a FURLOUGH END… appointment change record is added; and
  2. a ‘Period To’ date is added to the final ‘Appt: Part-time Furlough Weekly Hours UDF’, where an individual is working part of their contractual hours.

Any claim for a month must be with HMRC within two weeks of the following month. Once you have entered your data, central staff need time to check for accuracy, work with you to resolve errors, and then process that information in order to make the HMRC claim on time. Any records entered after the deadline will not be able to be claimed from HMRC resulting in lost income for the University. 

The HR Analytics team would like to thank system users who have been accurately inputting furlough changes in a timely fashion.

Across the University there are currently in excess of 170 Staff Classification errors in the HRINFO01- 2020-21 Staff Validation report output, of which the majority are mismatches between Category and Sub Category.  Please prioritize the clearance of these errors for your area by 31 August.

Guidance can be found here:

Report name Action required Required for

HRINFO01- 2020-21 Staff Validation

in conjunction with

HRINFO01 Data Validation – Quals & subjects 2020-21

Clear validation errors for all employee appointments active for any period of time from 1 August 2020.

The HR Analytics Team will follow up all instances of missing or inconsistent staff classification, so please avoid being contacted by clearing them before the deadline. See the guidance above this table.

HRINFO01 data quality validation report web page gives additional details about the report.



Medical Schools Council Survey

Athena SWAN

Financial year end reporting

HRINFO20_Casual Worker Data Quality Validation 2020-21

Clear validation errors for all casual worker and casual teaching appointments active for any period of time from 1 August 2020 in a timely manner.

HRINFO20 Casual worker data quality validation report gives additional details about the report.

Please note that the error messages relating to FTE Hours can be ignored.


For guidance on making the indicated changes to clear the data anomalies highlighted red and amber in the report please refer to data quality in the first instance.

If you need assistance making data changes or running any of the above reports contact HR Systems Support.

Contact the HR Analytics team on if you have any queries relating to these reports; give the Person Reference number, (and appointment ID if the individual is on more than one contract).

Please encourage new casual workers, (including teachers, examiners and invigilators), to use HR Self-Service to complete their equality and diversity data online, rather than generating and sending forms by post/electronically.

Guidance on obtaining both a Single Sign-On account and VPN are available on the HR Self-Service webpage, along with support documents and FAQs to help staff use the system and understand their data. 

The recruitment monitoring policy states that equal opportunities monitoring data is collected on all applicants and staff to enable monitoring of how far the equal opportunities policy is met; to consider changes to the University of Oxford’s provision and practices and to meet the equality duties as a public sector employer.

New/updated documents and reports

We are continually making updates and improvements to our guidance materials. Please always access guidance directly from our website, to ensure you have the most up to date version.

The following guides have recently been updated:

  • How-To Guide: Change the increment due date - updated with more information on the features available in the Increment Due Date screen.
  • How-To Guide: Add and manage allowances – updated to explain that if the costing of an allowance is the same as the salary recorded in the Cost Allocation screen, there is no need to add a cost centre to the allowance. This includes if the cost allocation of the salary is split, and the allowance is to be split in the same way. It is also now possible for the same allowance to be applied across multiple appointments, with the same start date.
  • Regrades Scenario Factsheet – now includes a reminder that when setting up a new salary line following a regrade, any backdated monies owed should be communicated to the Payroll team.
  • Transfers checklist – minor updates made.
  • Leavers checklist – minor updates made.

This month's deadlines

Please refer to the September 2021 payroll cycle diagram.

Guidance on the University’s pay periods and payroll cycles is available here.

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 date in order to be included in the payroll run.
No user input Users cannot enter data into the Personnel module/People Management in the Portal or use menu options under 'Core|Personnel>Maintenance'.
Staff request deadline For staff requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by the payroll deadline. 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).
Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
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.
Support requests Requests for assistance associated with actions for this month's payroll deadline should be received by HR Systems Support by this date. This is to ensure that sufficient time is available for the team to address your queries.
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.