February 2019 bulletin

26-27 March: CoreHR Full System Downtime – Tax Year End

We are currently preparing for the annual tax year-end updates on CoreHR. Each year this requires software to be tested and applied to the system to ensure that the University can fulfil its statutory payroll reporting obligations. The Payroll team need to be confident that all statutory year-end reporting can be completed accurately and on time. To achieve this, it is necessary to schedule a period of system downtime. This downtime, which will affect all modules of the CoreHR Back Office and Portal, including the applicant portal, will take place on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 March immediately following on from the standard “no user input period” for Personnel users. 

Implications for users                             

  • Recruitment: A message will be placed on the jobs and vacancies web pages to inform applicants of the downtime. Please ensure that when placing new vacancies you avoid closing them on these dates.
  • HR Self-Service: HR Self-Service will also be unavailable during this time, which will be noted on the Staff Gateway page.  
  • Payroll costing report: It is likely that the payroll costing reports will be distributed slightly later than usual. However, we expect to be able to meet our commitment to providing these within three days of completion of the payroll run.

As always, we will aim to keep the duration of any downtime to an absolute minimum.  Further reminders will be sent to users before the downtime takes place.  If you have any questions regarding the above downtimes or at-risk period, please do not hesitate to contact the HRIS Support Centre.


Coming soon: Hours on Payslips

Legislation is coming into force in April that will require changes to payslips for some staff. Specifically, all employers across the UK will be required to:

  • provide payslips to all workers (not only employees); and
  • show hours on payslips where the pay varies by the amount of time worked.

At the University, this new requirement will mainly affect variable hours and casual staff but also applies to other staff, for example those in receipt of overtime. For colleagues in departments and faculties, the change will require capturing hours worked for some staff currently receiving cash value payments. Payroll, HR and HRIS teams are working together to ensure we have the necessary systems and processes in place by April. Departments and faculties will receive further details in the coming weeks.


Advance notice of Easter closure arrangements and April supplementary deadline

The supplementary deadline for April will be Thursday 18 April 2019, in order to accommodate the Easter break. The ‘no user input’ days will follow from Friday 19 April through to Wednesday 24 April inclusive. Details of upcoming Main and Casual payroll deadlines can be found on the Payroll webpages.  The April Payroll Cycle diagram (published in the March Bulletin) will provide a full breakdown of payroll dates.

If your department closes for Easter on Thursday 18 April, you must complete any supplementary changes before this day in order for them to be included in the April payroll run.

HRIS Support Centre availability

The HRIS Support Centre will be closed from 5pm on Wednesday 17 April until 8.30am on Tuesday 23 April 2019. CoreHR will be available to users and applicants during this time. Please be aware however that the supplementary deadline day and start of the ‘no user input’ days fall during this closure period. The payroll team will be available on Thursday 18 April for any urgent queries regarding supplementary input.

Support for applicants

A message will be placed on the University’s Jobs and Vacancies webpages advising applicants of the office closure over the Easter period with the dates as above. Please be aware that behind the scenes, the support team will be monitoring the availability of the online recruitment system.

Staff requests and adverts

Please note that Personnel Services will also be closed during this period.  Staff requests will not be processed from 12.00 noon on Wednesday 17 April until Tuesday 23 April.

Adverts that require posting on jobs.ac.uk before Easter will be accepted until 12.00 noon on Friday 12 April 2019. Adverts for the University site only will be accepted until 12.00 noon on Tuesday 16 April 2019.

CoreHR Upgrade Project: switchover and downtime postponed

As explained in an email to all users on 7 February, the CoreHR Project Board has taken the difficult decision to postpone the planned upgrade from v20 to v26. It was agreed that there was insufficient confidence that outstanding issues with Discoverer reports, which form a vital part of the HRIS service, would be addressed in the proposed timeframe. The suggested downtime dates of 22 February -1 March, as referenced in January’s HRIS Bulletin, will therefore no longer be required.

Vacancies can now be set to close during this period if required. In addition, the online training module for Staff Requests will remain open and continue to be a pre-requisite for access to Staff Requests until we move to CoreHR v26.  The deadline for completing UDFs for the Reward and Recognition Scheme remains as originally communicated - 28 February.

Re-planning to establish an achievable alternative timeframe for the switchover is already at an advanced stage and updated plans will be shared soon.

Impact of re-planning

The Project Team and Project Board fully appreciate the potential disruption and re-planning that departments need to undertake whenever there is a period of system downtime, especially when this is cancelled or postponed with little notice.

We take a wide number of factors into account when planning a system downtime, including the impact on departments, and do our best to ensure that any adverse impact is minimised as far as possible.  We give as much notice as we can to allow for the planning of recruitment activity, but the provision of this notice inevitably requires us to predict when we will be in a position to undertake the task that the downtime is needed for.  Technical issues cannot always be foreseen which makes planning more challenging. 

This second delay has been frustrating for everyone involved and we would like to assure you that, along with our colleagues at CoreHR, we are working extremely hard to get to a position where we can share our revised plans as soon as possible.  We are grateful for the support and understanding that we have received, especially from our User Group members.

Future phases of the project

This postponement allows more members of the project team to start working on phase two of the project.  Analysis of the new functionality that we will introduce in subsequent phases is well underway and we will shortly be talking to the HRIS User Group about how best to involve users in this activity.  We will update the project timeline and information about future phases on the project microsite as our plans progress.

Key contacts and further updates

We will continue to provide regular updates by email to key contacts. If you are unaware of who the key contact is for your department, you can find out here: Find my key contact.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the project team at corehrupgrade@admin.ox.ac.uk.


CoreHR UAS & GLAM Users – Windows 10 rollout update

As communicated in the January Bulletin, we have been liaising with the UAS Desktop Services Team to exclude all UAS and GLAM users of CoreHR from the initial rollout of Windows 10.  With the decision to postpone the upgrade, we are still advising that all CoreHR users remain on Windows 7 & 8 until we have successfully completed the upgrade to v26. If you find that you have been updated to Windows 10, it may be possible for this to be reversed.  In this instance, we would advise you to contact your local IT team and bring any issues to the attention of the HRIS Support Centre.

Important for P60 - Updating home addresses via HR Self-Service

It is important to ensure that employees keep their home address details up to date.  Home addresses are stated on the P60 employees receive every year.  Employees should therefore check and, if required, update their home address via HR Self-Service before the end of March, in the time for the next round of P60s.  Employees can access HR Self-Service by logging in from the HR Self-Service Staff Gateway page, which includes an Employee Self-Service How-To Guide to support employees with updating their details and navigating the system.

It is also important that employees notify HMRC of any changes to personal details, including home address, as these are not updated automatically. It is an individual’s responsibility to notify HMRC of any changes. Please visit the HMRC website for more details.  Tier 2/4/5 visa holders may also need to inform police of a new address as part of their visa conditions.

Data Quality

Clear 2018-19 data issues

Please keep running and clearing data issues from the reports:

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

Thank you to everyone who has cleared their staff classification Sub Category and Category corrections. This will improve the accuracy of the data in the extract of employees in post as at 31 January 2019 to be taken later this month.

The HR Analytics 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 Analytics team as before if you have any queries relating to these reports.

Data request/checking exercises

As indicated in last month’s bulletin, the HR Analytics team has contacted departments where Academic teaching qualifications and highest qualification held are found to be missing for any staff due to be returned to HESA in 2018-19. Thank you to departments that have sought and keyed the missing information to Core.

For any departments where Current Academic Discipline taught/researched are found to be missing for the relevant employees, the HR Analytics team will be in touch in March 2019 to ask that the information is sought and keyed to Core.

Contact hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk if you have any new queries to raise with the team.

QRG updates

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


CH26 Reward and Recognition Scheme (PDF) Updated guidance for the Awards for Excellence UDF.
PANS0 Pre Arrival and New Starter Guide (PDF) Updated guidance for updating additional contact information. 


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 

Deadlines for Personnel users: March payroll

Please also refer to the March 2019 Payroll Cycle Diagram (PDF)


Wed 20 February - 5pm February 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 February's payroll run.
Thu 21 to Sun 24 February 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).
Mon 4 March Staff request deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Thursday 7 March. 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 March Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Thu 7 March 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.
Thu 7 March Support requests for March 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 March - 5pm March 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.
Thu 21 March March 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.