December 2018 bulletin

Tuesday 18th December: CoreHR Downtime from 5pm

CoreHR will be unavailable from 5.00pm on Tuesday 18 December to allow the delivery of a Critical Oracle Security Patch in line with other central business systems.  We anticipate that all services will be fully restored by 8.00pm on the same evening Tuesday 18 December and you are welcome to try logging back in after this time, noting that the System Availability and Login page will be updated first thing the following morning. 

Please ensure you are logged out of the system by 4.55pm on Tuesday 18 December - any users still logged in by 5.00pm will lose their connection to CoreHR.   

All modules of the CoreHR Back Office and Portal will be affected, including the applicant portal.  A message will be placed on the Jobs and Vacancies pages advising applicants of this. HR Self-Service will also be unavailable during this time, which will be noted on the Staff Gateway page.  

Please note this downtime will take place during the monthly No User Input period, which will run from Saturday 15 December to Tuesday 18 December.

We have a vacancy in our team - would you like to join the HRIS Support Centre?

Would you like to work in the HRIS Support Centre, using your knowledge of supporting University business systems or HR or related business processes in the University, and potentially also your knowledge of CoreHR if you are an existing user of the system?  We are looking to grow our first line support team for the duration of the CoreHR Upgrade work and follow on phases. 

The following advert for a Grade 5, 1.5 year fixed term, part-time (0.5FTE) vacancy in our team has gone live on the University’s job pages – if you are interested, just follow the online application process.                                                 

Please note that we would consider offering this role on a secondment basis or possibly even to supplement your existing part-time role in a department, or in one of the other University support centres. This is a great opportunity to be part of an effective, busy and highly functional team supporting one of the University’s key business systems and processes.

As HRIS Support Officer, you will be responsible for providing help and guidance in the use of the University’s Human Resources information systems (HRIS) and associated business processes. A key member of a busy team, you will work with your colleagues to support both job applicants and the wide range of staff using the University’s HR system in a devolved administration environment.  Your principal duties will include advising users on the system and processes, encouraging structured approaches and compliance with HR processes, supporting the operation of the system and assisting in the resolution of technical issues. This is a 1.5 year fixed term contract to provide continuity of service to users whilst the existing HRIS Support Officers spend part of their time on a major system upgrade project.  You will help to support the team and users through what is expected to be a busy period, and have the opportunity to work as part of the project team during the implementation.

You will have excellent communication skills and be especially skilled at providing a responsive high quality customer service.  Ideally, your background will mean you have an understanding of how HR processes can be supported by IT solutions, the importance of ensuring quality data and you will be familiar with operating in accordance with General Data Protection Regulations. You will have excellent administration and organisational skills; being computer literate is also essential (familiarity with MS Office especially Word and Excel), as is the ability to learn and adapt to a changing environment.

The vacancy will close on 7 January 2019 and it is expected that interviews will be held on 30 January 2019.


Awards for Excellence 2018/19

The Personnel Committee has approved the formal launch of the Awards for Excellence Scheme for 2018/19.

The Scheme, which is mandatory, should take place in departments in Hilary term 2019 and departments are encouraged to communicate with staff and make arrangements for their review panels as soon as possible. The 2018/19 review period is January to December 2018. Awards should be implemented in the April 2019 payroll.

The overall spend on the scheme in 2017/18 was 0.16% and departments are reminded that they may spend up to 0.35% of their pay bill on awards.

Departments are reminded of the importance of a fair process, and the need to avoid any unconscious bias in making nominations under the scheme, particularly in respect of individuals with characteristics protected by equality law.  Departments should consider the type of jobs being nominated under the Scheme to ensure all categories of staff are taken into consideration. 

Advice on communication strategies to try to encourage a broad range of nominations can be found on the Reward section of the Personnel Services website.

An equality analysis of last year's exercise showed that there was an under-representation of staff, in some areas, with protected characteristics. The Personnel Committee decided that an equality analysis of the Awards for Excellence Scheme will be conducted, once nominations have been considered by departmental review panels, but before any awards are approved for payment.

To enable this, departments must ensure that the User Defined Fields (UDFs) are correctly completed in CoreHR for all nominations, including those that do not result in an award (QRG CH26 includes instructions on completing the UDFs).  Departments may check if data has been entered, as expected, by running PERDEP47_R&R Scheme Monitoring, and then confirm to that the data is complete.

If review committees meet by the end of February 2019, the reward team will conduct the equality analysis during March and a payment code will be issued in early April to all of the departments whose equality analysis has been satisfactorily completed. Departments with a disparity between the proportion of BME staff and the proportion receiving awards will be asked to revisit nominations and consider making a difference to the outcomes. These departments, and any who are not following the standard schedule, may make payments in May, backdated to 1 April 2019.

Departments are advised that, in the majority of cases, non-recurrent awards rather than recurrent increments are to be made under the Awards for Excellence Scheme. The Scheme’s guidelines and forms have been updated and are available now on the Reward section of the Personnel Services website

If you have any further questions, please contact your HR Business Partner or the Head of Reward, Sarah Kilgour.


New Starter Data Collection forms updated

The New Starter Data Collection form (for employees) has been updated and is now available from the Using HRIS website.  Changes to the form include an updated email address for the Equality and Diversity team and wording updates to facilitate data collection.

The Casual Worker Data Collection form has also been updated and is available from the Using HRIS website. This updated form has also been made available to produce as a letter on CoreHR. Changes to the form include the addition of an employee declaration and an updated email address for the Equality and Diversity team.

Please ensure that you use the latest version of these forms. Collecting and entering accurate data is essential for HESA purposes.  Further guidance on entering correct data can be found on the HR Information Team website.

Users can also find further information about different types of qualification on the Gov.UK website.

CoreHR Upgrade Project – important update

System downtime update

As previously communicated, an extended period of system downtime is planned for January, to facilitate the switchover to v26. Access to CoreHR is planned to be withdrawn at 4pm on Thursday 24 January, and to be restored as early as possible on Thursday 31 January.  

Staff requests that have been approved by the department/division and received by the Reward Team by 10am on Tuesday 24 January, will be graded (if required) during the downtime period and authorised by Friday 1 February.

While the downtime period inevitably impacts all processes using CoreHR, it will result in a particularly short window in which to administer your casual records. Please take this into account when planning your payroll inputting. It is requested that users of the HRIS Data Service send any casual worker forms to the team no later than 30 January, to allow sufficient time for the team to process them following the downtime period.

Please note that we are currently experiencing a performance issue with our test environment.  We are working closely with CoreHR to address this but the issue does present a risk to our planned go-live in January. We will continue to work to resolve this throughout December and will provide an update by the beginning of January.

Webinar briefings – booking now available

On Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 23 January 2019, the project team will hold briefings, via webinar, for all CoreHR users. These will be used to present important information about phase one of the project, including arrangements for the switchover to v26 and a system demonstration of the portal and new Staff Requests functionality. Find out more and book your place on one of the sessions here.

Shared PCs – help staff to keep their personal data safe

During the HR Self-Service project, we worked closely with the University's Information Security team to maximise the security of the service. As part of this work, we looked at ways in which we could promote best practice to staff accessing personal information online - particularly those that use shared PCs or shared logins as part of their day-to-day work.

In partnership with the Information Security team, we have designed a monitor corner that can be attached to the screens of shared PCs across the University to remind staff of the steps they can take to protect their personal information.

If there are shared PCs in use by staff in your department, please contact us at and specify the number of monitor corners required (we recommend displaying one on each shared PC) and to whom these should be sent.

Need more information?

A more detailed update on the project has recently been shared with your key contact, which includes:

  • additional information on the introduction of the new, easy-to-follow Staff Request form and the subsequent withdrawal of the ‘Creating and Approving Staff Requests’ online training module; and
  • sample text that you may wish to use to communicate the downtime to your employees and potential applicants.

If you haven’t already been updated by your key contact, please prompt them to do so. If you are unsure of the key contact for your department, you can check here: find my key contact.

If you have any questions, please email us at, otherwise we look forward to your participation in one of the webinar sessions in January.

Please clear all errors from the data quality reports monthly

  • HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2018-19
  • HRINFO20_Casual Worker Data Quality Validation 2018-19
  • HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2018-19

Please clear all data errors from the above 3 reports before the Christmas closure period.

As an extract of employees in post as at 31 January 2019 will be taken for reporting purposes, the HR Information team will contact all departments who still have a significant number of outstanding data issues from the HRINFO01 report after the Christmas closure break. Therefore, if you have limited time, please focus on clearing the errors in that data quality report.

The HR Information Team website provides guidance on making the indicated changes to clear the data anomalies highlighted red and amber in the report. If you need assistance making data changes contact the HRIS Support Centre or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

Contact the HR Information team on if you have any queries relating to these reports.

Equality and diversity data collection for new starters who did not apply via e-recruitment

E.g. direct appointees and casual workers

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. However, the number of records where equality and diversity data is missing has been increasing.

All direct appointees (i.e. those which have not come through e-recruitment) and casual workers must complete an Equality and Diversity form. The HR Information team would like to remind CoreHR administrators that the letter module in CoreHR should be used to create a pre-populated form to send to the new starters for completion. To generate the form, follow the steps in the relevant quick reference guide given in the table below and choose Letter Type: Equality and Diversity Form.


Category v20 Quick Reference Guide  Section  Page numbers 
Direct appointee  QRG PA2g – Direct appoint   4 10-11
Casual worker PA11 - Managing casual worker records D.2. & E  13 & 17-18 


Alternatively a non-core version of the form (Staff Starter Form) can be found on the Equality and Diversity website. Please ensure that the Appointment ID is completed before sending to the individual.

The direct appointee or casual worker should return the completed form in a sealed envelope to the Data Services Team, Dartington House, University Offices, Wellington Square or email it to

QRG and Support Document updates


New Starter Data Collection Form - Non Core Version (DOC)   See item above.
Casual worker new starter data collection form (DOC) See item above.
Allowance Guide (PDF) PDA amended to PMP. Updates to ‘Type of Calculation’ column.
IP12 Academic Title (PDF) Data entry responsibility updated in Appendix. 


Report Updates


PERDEP41_Immigration and right to work report Now able to filter between ‘Commenced’, ‘Ended’ or ‘All’ records on the ‘Visa Expiry Dates’ tab.


Christmas closure arrangements

The HRIS Support Centre will be closed from 4pm on Friday 21 December 2018 until 8.30am on Thursday 3 January 2019. On 3 January 2018, priority will be given to resolving queries raised by applicants over the Christmas period. To ensure that applicants have access to technical support should they need it, please do not set any vacancy closing dates for the period Monday 24 December 2018 to Wednesday 2 January 2019 inclusive.

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. We will however be monitoring the use and availability of the online recruitment system.  

HRIS Support Centre

Contact details for the team are: or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 am - 5.00 pm 

Deadlines for Personnel users: January payroll

Please also refer to the January 2019 Payroll Cycle  (PDF)


Fri 14 December - 5pm 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 December's payroll
Mon 17 to Tue 18 December 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).
Thu 3 January Staff request deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Monday 7 January. 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).
Mon 7 January Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Tue 8 January 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.
Tue 8 January Support requests for January 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.
Thu 10 January - 5pm January 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.
Tue 22 January January 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.