COVID-19 staffing strategies and CoreHR guidance

The University has introduced a number of temporary measures to protect jobs, deploy resources, and support staff to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This page provides a brief overview of these strategies, points you towards guidance on the HR Support webpages, and directs you to the relevant CoreHR guidance.

1. Recruitment Freeze and Redeployment Protocol

Effective from 21 April, the Recruitment Freeze and Redeployment Protocol is a means to manage University-funded staff numbers and salary costs in the current uncertain financial environment, and to ensure that staff at the end of a fixed-term contract or whose post is at risk of redundancy are given first priority for any University vacancies.

The Staff Request form and process has been amended to support the Recruitment Protocol.

Key changes include:

  • All Staff Requests to be raised and saved before sending a case to the Division for approval
  • Staff Request ID to be included on the Protocol Form
  • New reference data (drop-down list) under 'Funding Source', to indicate whether the post is externally or internally funded, or split-funded
  • New free-text field to record whether the advertisement for the post will be 'Internal' or 'External'
  • Staff Request to be submitted for approval/rejection on the system only once the case has been to the relevant panel. Protocol Form and completed Divisional Protocol Checker to be attached to the request prior to submitting
  • Approver action and comments to note (where applicable) which panel reviewed the case and what the outcome was, or include the reason why the post did not need Protocol approval.

RQ1 – Creating and Approving a Staff Request has been updated with this guidance. The Staff Request and Contract Decision Matrix has also been updated to include a column indicating whether Protocol approval is needed and guidance on what to include in the approver comments.

Please always ensure that you refer to the HR Support guidance on the Recruitment Protocol, in conjunction with the system guidance, when deciding what action is required in a particular scenario.

Guidance was issued on the closing down of existing vacancies when the Protocol was first implemented and ensuring that vacancy statuses are accurately recorded. It is critical that you continue to maintain vacancy and applicant statuses to ensure accurate data is available for reporting to PRAC and Council and to support the redeployment process.

See: Recruitment Freeze and Redeployment Protocol: Guidance on managing vacancies in CoreHR.

You must continue to regularly run the Vacancy and Applicant Data Quality Report (HRINFO21) and correct any errors on vacancies, including those that pre-date the recruitment freeze.

The Internal Job Board gives University staff access to internal-only opportunities, which will no longer be published on the main University website. The Internal Job Board is located within HR Self-Service.

Guidance on how to set up a vacancy in CoreHR for advert on the Internal Job Board only is now contained within Preparing a Vacancy for Advertising.

The Employee Self-Service How-To Guide and the FAQs on the HR Self-Service login page have been updated to include information on the Internal Job Board.

The Priority Candidate Support Scheme (PCSS) aims to support the redeployment of priority candidates. Priority candidates are individuals who are at risk of redundancy, who are coming to the end of a fixed-term contract, or for whom redeployment is being sought.

In support of this new scheme, University HR will be maintaining a list of eligible employees who wish to be considered priority candidates for suitable University vacancies. CoreHR is being used centrally to maintain this list. You will now see a new menu item on the 'Select Detail' menu in CorePersonnel, entitled 'PCSS (SA Team Only)' which supports this functionality. You must not take any action to amend or update information contained under this menu item.

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2. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) allows the University to reclaim 80% of the salary, up to a cap of £2,500 per month (plus some employer’s costs), for staff who have been furloughed.  

Every period of furlough must be recorded as an appointment change with an action of “Furlough” and an appropriate reason code.

See: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: CoreHR System Steps.

Users of the HRIS Data Service can supply the data on furlough appointment changes on the Furlough Details Spreadsheet, available from the HRIS Data Service SharePoint site.

Eligible casual workers and variable hours employees can be furloughed. There is a specific process to follow to ensure that these staff are paid correctly.

Refer to the FAQs on paying variable hours employees and casual workers on furlough and to the guidance on tabs 2 and 3 of the Furlough Payment Spreadsheet