February 2021 bulletin

News and reminders

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We are currently preparing for the annual tax year-end updates in 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, we need to schedule a period of system downtime. Since moving CoreHR to the cloud, we are now able to undertake faster out-of-hours delivery of the software, which has reduced the amount of downtime required to complete this work. The planned schedule is as follows: 

Wednesday 24 March

Standard ‘no user input’ period for People Management users.

17:00: System downtime begins. CoreHR and HR Reporting will be unavailable.

Thursday 25 March

System downtime continues for CoreHR and HR Reporting.

Friday 26 March

CoreHR users will be contacted by email as soon as CoreHR and HR Reporting become available.

All areas of the system will be impacted except e-Recruitment, therefore applicants will be unaffected by this work.

Implications for users                             

  • HR Self-Service: HR Self-Service will also be unavailable during the full system downtime, 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.  A reminder will be included in next month’s bulletin and full details sent to users before the downtime takes place. 

Asking for help – including urgent requests

If you need help, please email the HRIS Service Desk, marking urgent queries as ‘high importance’. You’ll receive an automated response to confirm that we’ve logged your request. We reply to emails in priority order, so if you have already contacted us, please be assured that we’ll be in touch as soon as we can. Unfortunately we are unable to respond to emails sent to personal accounts or to Teams messages.

We’re currently responding to emails within one working day. If your request is urgent, we encourage you to ask a colleague or check our online guidance whilst you wait.

Phone service temporarily suspended

As explained in our email of 4 February, we are currently unable to accept requests via telephone. However should you wish to speak to us to resolve your query, please mention this in your initial email and we will arrange to call you.

Making improvements to our service

We are all operating under challenging circumstances at the moment. In response to this, we are taking the following measures to maximise the support we are able to provide:

  1. 1:1 user support sessions (Teams) – Anna Carter-Windle (Team Lead for HRIS Training and Support) will continue to offer these sessions whilst we work remotely. Click here for the current dates available.
  2. Quarterly CoreHR user briefings – starting next month, we’ll offer regular sessions to support users with specific aspects of the system and answer your questions. Find out more.
  3. Upskilling more team members – we’re expanding the number of staff who can support the HRIS Service Desk, to ensure adequate cover during staff absence and peaks in demand.
  4. Prioritising requests – requests sent to the HRIS Service desk are ‘triaged’ to ensure urgent items are actioned as a priority.
  5. Continuous improvements to our guidance – updates are being made regularly, in response to user queries, to ensure our guides are as comprehensive and clear as possible.

Anna Carter-Windle (Team Lead for HRIS Training and Support) will continue to offer 1:1 sessions over Teams, whilst the majority of us work remotely.  

You are encouraged to book a session if you need help completing a particular system process (eg processing furlough/casual staff), or have questions relating to the Portal which are not covered on our website.

To request a session, please send the following information to Anna at hris.training@admin.ox.ac.uk:

  1. Your preferred date for a session (see below)
  2. Your department (please include the names of your team members, if you require a team session)
  3. A brief summary of the support required

Sessions are available between 09:30-16:30 on the following dates:

  • Monday 1 March
  • Friday 12 March
  • Wednesday 17 March
  • Tuesday 30 March

We are excited to share plans to deliver quarterly briefing sessions for system users, starting next month. Each session will cover a variety of topics aimed at supporting your use of CoreHR, with time allocated for user Q&A.

Sessions will be held towards the end of each quarter, with the first scheduled for 10:30-11:30 on Wednesday 24 March. We will aim to align these with the standard no-user input days, in order to maximise your opportunity to attend.

We look forward to having these regular opportunities to engage with you, and hope that these become a valuable feature of our support service. Please save the date and look out for a calendar invite, including the agenda for our first session - coming soon!

We have encountered some instances whereby employees have been incorrectly processed as an ‘additional appointment’ when the intention is to ‘transfer’ them in CoreHR.


A ‘transfer’ in most organisations would refer to transferring between jobs, regardless of the department. However, in CoreHR system terms, this also relates to transferring the security access for a particular appointment; allowing the receiving department’s system user(s) to view and administer the staff record in CoreHR.

Avoiding errors

Please always check with the new starter and/ or the original department’s HR Admin, to identify whether a ‘transfer’ or ‘additional appointment’ is required.

The appointing process can be complex. To avoid errors, always refer to the Appointing – where to start guide before making any such changes in the system. This will ensure the correct system steps are completed for your scenario. You can also watch a short tutorial on Appointing in the Portal here.

If you are ever unsure, please contact us or seek advice from a colleague. It’s easier for us to help you in advance than to correct mistakes.

Checking recent transfers

If a member of staff has recently transferred from or to your department, please make sure that the original appointment has been ended in CoreHR, where appropriate. If you are unsure and wish their staff record be checked, please contact us.

HRIS Service Desk availability

The HRIS Service Desk will be closed from 17:00 on Wednesday 31 March until 08:30 on Tuesday 6 April 2021. CoreHR will be available to users and applicants during this time.

April Payroll deadline

The main payroll deadline has been scheduled for 12 April, to allow departments extra time to account for the Easter break. Please note that due to the later deadline, late submissions cannot be accepted. Details of upcoming Main and Casual payroll deadlines can be found on the Payroll website

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

Please note that University HR will also be closed during this period. Staff requests will not be processed from 12:00 noon on Wednesday 31 March until Tuesday 6 April.

Meet the team

Following our restructure last year, we’d like to introduce you to the people behind HR Systems. Over the coming months we’ll feature a different team in each issue. We hope that you enjoy learning more about the services we offer and the role of each team member.

We kick off this month by introducing you to the colleagues who deliver HRIS training and support, including the HRIS Service Desk. Click here to learn more.

Projects update

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HR Systems is preparing to pilot CoreHR’s time and absence management module; CoreTime. The pilot includes limited groups of participants from:

  • Faculty of Classics
  • University Human Resources
  • Nuffield Department of Medicine (Ludwig Cancer Research and Big Data Institute)
  • Department of Physics

The project team recently established a ‘Check and Test’ group, consisting of senior stakeholders across the University. The group will help to ensure the functionality and processes relating to timesheets, leave and absence are fit for purpose, in readiness for the University-wide rollout (for which we are currently seeking funding).

Possible go-live windows are currently being explored, with delivery now anticipated to fall between April-June. For further information, please visit the project webpage or email coretime@admin.ox.ac.uk

Payroll corner

Remember that from this year, P60s are now paperless for the majority of employees. These will be available via HR Self-Service along with April payslips.

Casuals and any individual recorded as an ‘exception’ will continue to receive a paper P60, which will also be included with their April payslip.

Some departments are forgetting to complete the Leaver UDF when they end an appointment. 

Within People Management the additional instructions for Payroll aren’t as conveniently located as before, but they must still be completed. P45s are sent to departments unless Payroll is told otherwise, and as many people are currently working from home, they will not receive them.

HMRC do not allow duplicates to be issued so getting the P45 to the right place is very important.

There have also been instances of outstanding annual leave not being paid on leaving – information that should also be recorded in the Leaver UDF where applicable. Please ensure that you complete the UDF for every leaver.

You must ensure that you have the employee’s latest address for their P45. If it doesn’t reach them, we cannot send out a new one. P45s are NOT held on HR Self-Service.

Where an overseas address is to be used for an employee (not just leavers), please include the country as part of the address. Although there is a List of Values field for this, the country is not printed on the payslip from that field, so it needs to be manually entered into the address lines.

Update from the HR Analytics Team

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The HR Analytics team has noticed that there are a high number of data quality errors for employee appointments across the University.

This is a reminder to run the HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2020-21 report regularly and correct the errors as soon as possible.


Please ignore any 'NHS Contract details UDF error' messages – this field isn’t working correctly in the report and is being looked into.

The newly published guidance for correcting errors is Track changes and correct records. Any reference to section E of the Quick Reference Guide IP6 in the output in the HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2020-21 report has been replaced by this how to guide. However, the notes in the report still make reference to IP6. Please follow the guidance in Track changes and correct records instead.

Report name

Action required

Required for:

HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2020-21

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


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

Additional guidance on clearing errors whilst working remotely during these challenging circumstances is provided on the clearing errors web page.



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.


HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2020-21




Clear validation errors for all vacancies posted externally on or after 1 August 2020 in a timely manner.

For additional details about the report and guidance on adding missing Applicant Status history please refer to HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality report.

If a vacancy has genuinely been open for more than 4 months and is not open in error, please ignore the red error message and close it down when the recruitment is complete.


Athena SWAN

Race Equality Charter


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 HRIS Support hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Contact the HR Analytics team on hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk 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), for queries relating to appointment records; provide the Vacancy ID for queries relating to clearing errors from the HRINFO21 report.

As the HR Analytics team process data for the HESA staff return and Athena Swan datasets you may be contacted with individual queries as in previous years.

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’): CoreHR system guidance in the same month in which the change occurs, and as early as practicable in the month.

Current government guidance indicates that any claim for a calendar month must be with HMRC by the 14th day of the following month. Once you have entered data to CoreHR, central staff then need time to check for accuracy, work with you to resolve any errors, and then process that information in order to make the HMRC claim on time all before the 14th of each month. Any records entered after the deadline will not be able to be claimed from HMRC resulting in lost income for the University.

New and updated documents/reports

The Scenario Factsheet for recording furlough details in CoreHR has been updated to include guidance on recording part-time furlough for term-time only staff. A reminder has also been added about the need to record another appointment change when the employee returns from furlough.

The ‘PERDEP91 Part-Time Furlough History’ report has been updated. It now returns the FTE at the point that the period of part time furlough ends and includes an additional column for ‘contracted hours’.

This month's deadlines

Please refer to the March 2021 payroll cycle diagram.

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 HRIS 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.

Known Issues and Common Queries

Please check the Known Issues (inc. Fixed Issues) and Common Queries pages, which have recently been updated.