March 2019 bulletin

25-27 March: CoreHR Full System Downtime – Tax Year End

Further to our preliminary communication in the February bulletin, we are now able to confirm final details for the system downtime required to deliver and implement the annual Year End software updates for CoreHR.  Each year, this slightly extended downtime is required near the end of March to ensure the University continues to fulfil its statutory payroll processing and reporting obligations for the new Tax Year. 

This downtime will take place immediately following on from the standard “no user input period” as follows:

Friday 22 March – Monday 25 March 13:30: No User Input Days

The No User Input Days this month are Friday 22 to Monday 25 March 13:30 to allow for the March payroll to run. Please do not navigate to any employee data maintenance screens during the entire no user input period unless you have been instructed to do so by a member of the Payroll team. This is necessary due to the adverse impact the use of these screens can have on the success of the payroll run.   

In practice, this means that you should not navigate to the “Core Personnel > Maintenance” menu or use the Personnel related shortcut icons, which for example, depending on your level of user access may consist of “Personal Profile”, “Salary Administration” or “Salary Approvals”. Other areas of the system such as the Recruitment, Staff Request Portal and Reporting modules can still be utilised as normal during this time.  

Monday 25 March 13:30 to Wednesday 27 March 12:00: Full System Downtime

This downtime, which will affect all back office users of CoreHR and applicants using e-Recruitment, will take place from on Monday 25 March 13:30 to Wednesday 27 March 12:00 midday immediately following on from the standard “no user input period” for Personnel users. As always, we will strive to complete the downtime as efficiently as possible, and will write to advise if there are any changes to the timings.

Implications for users

Recruitment:  A message will be placed on the jobs and vacancies web pages to inform applicants of the downtime and to advise them that they will not be able to apply for vacancies during this time. Please ensure that when placing new vacancies you avoid closing them on these dates.  We will attempt to make the applicant online portal available as soon as possible on the 27th March and may be able to bring the online portal back earlier than back office access in order to minimise disruption to applicants during the downtime period.

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.

If you have any questions regarding this downtime, please do not hesitate to contact the HRIS Support Centre.

Hours on payslips

As noted in the February bulletin, legislation will take effect for pay periods commencing from 6 April requiring all UK employers to:

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

In order for the University to comply with this legislation, a working group from Payroll, HR Systems, Reward and Policy are ensuring that necessary process changes are in place before the May payroll.

Casual Spreadsheet

Minor amendments have been made to the Casual Payroll Submission Spreadsheet.  Some pay codes formerly paid as a cash value have been removed, to meet requirements for payments to be displayed in an hours and pay rate format.  Those most affected by these amendments have been contacted directly.  The updated version is available from the Payroll website.

A message has also been added to the spreadsheet, highlighting that rates of pay above the top of the pay spine may be queried.  Those completing the spreadsheet should be mindful that the hourly rates recorded will be displayed on the recipient’s payslip. 

Temporary or ad-hoc payments

An amended version of the Overtime/Other Temporary Additional Payments form will shortly be available from the Payroll website.  Payments previously recorded as cash values (Consultancy, Invigilating, Lecturing, Teaching, and Demonstrating) will need to be recorded as hours and pay rate.  Departments currently using a spreadsheet for these payments will be contacted directly by the Payroll team.

Payslip changes

Staff are advised that all payslips are likely to change in appearance, to accommodate the additional information for relevant staff.  An updated version of the ‘Understanding your online payslip’ guide will be made available from the Staff Gateway page.

Further information, including on pay policy changes, will be published shortly via a Personnel Circular.

For Payroll queries, please contact

For pay policy questions, please contact the Reward Team at

For CoreHR queries, please contact

Easter closure arrangements reminder

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. 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 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: update on switchover and phase 2 planning

Following the postponement of the planned switchover from v20 to v26 last month, the project team are still working with CoreHR to resolve the outstanding issues with Discoverer reports and agree a suitable alternative schedule for this work.

In recognition of the disruption already caused by the postponement, the project team are exploring ways in which the impact of the next planned downtime on recruitment could be minimised.  We will be consulting with the HRIS User Group on proposed support mechanisms, including the option to use an off-system process in exceptional circumstances.  We will share the outcomes of these discussions, along with a revised timetable for the switchover, as soon as we can.

Alongside this work, planning for phase two continues, including agreeing our approach to communications and the involvement of users for this second stage of the project.  This will be discussed in more detail with the HRIS User Group at their next meeting on 27 March.

Finally, please note that with immediate effect, all email communication about the project will be sent directly to all CoreHR users, not just key contacts as previously, to maximise the reach of our communications and ensure we keep everyone as up to date as possible. Key contacts will continue to remain in place should the project need to request specific involvement from representatives, so please ensure you let us know of any changes to the nominated key contact(s) for your area.

As always, if you have any questions about the CoreHR Upgrade project, please email us at

This is a reminder that any pay-related changes must be input before the main payroll deadline.  Any changes requiring approval that are entered after the main deadline will not be seen by Payroll until the following month. This is particularly relevant when appointing an existing employee to a new post.  Setting up the new appointment immediately closes the previous post (even if not yet commenced), and therefore stops the previous salary from being paid. It is essential that employees are paid correctly for work they have completed in their current roles.  This must take precedence over preparations to establish them in their new roles.

The payroll deadlines are published in each Bulletin and in the monthly Payroll Cycle diagram. The updated ‘Working with Payroll deadlines’ document provides a breakdown of tasks requiring completion by the main and supplementary deadlines.  If you are unsure, please contact the HRIS Support Centre or your Payroll Officer, or wait until after the 'No User Input' days at the end of the month.

Data Quality and the REF

Thank you to all those who have recently cleared their data quality report for employees, HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2018-19, for casuals, HRINFO20_Casual Worker Data Quality Validation 2018-19, and for vacancies and applicants HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2018-19.

Please do run these reports regularly and clear all the issues highlighted. This is particularly important, as preparations for REF2021 will require a number of staff data extracts from Core for the Staff Eligibility Review, which forms part of the REF dry-run exercise happening in the spring and summer. Any data quality issues in Core will reduce the accuracy of these extracts, therefore we are asking all areas to have cleared any data quality errors in HRINFO01 by the end of the month.

HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2018-19 should also be used to review all data in the Academic Title UDF to ensure it is correctly populated: QRG IP12 provides guidance on making updates and data entry responsibilities.

For optimum efficiency, we suggest:

  1. Running the Discoverer reports
  2. Correcting all staff classification errors highlighted by the report
  3. Re-running the report and correcting the remaining errors

Following these steps will reduce the number of errors that require resolution, as some of the other errors are a consequence of inconsistencies between the staff classification and other data items.

The HR Analytics Team website provides additional guidance on making the changes highlighted red in the reports.

If you need assistance making data changes, contact the HRIS Support Centre or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

If you have any queries relating to these reports, contact the HR Analytics team.

Maintaining correct cost allocations

Did you know that you could easily manage cost allocations of employee appointments using the first three tabs of the PERDEP10_Cost Allocation (Funding) End Dates report as set out below?


Tab 1

Cost Allocation due to end

Shows cost allocations due to end during specified period where there are no further/subsequent allocations set up.

Tab 2

Costing Never Assigned to the Appointment

Identifies records where the cost allocation has never been set up. (Every non-casual appointment should have a cost allocation assigned)

Tab 3

No Current Cost Allocation

Identifies records where the most recent cost allocation has an end date in the past.


Cost allocations are used for the HESA Staff Return, REF2021 and impact the Payroll Costing Report. Therefore, the HR Analytics team recommends that you run this report monthly and investigate the records accordingly. Please follow QRG CH1 – Recording funding to amend a cost allocation.  For new employees, PANS0 - Pre-arrival and new starter guide (Section C) should be followed.

Data request/checking exercises

The HR Analytics team will be in touch with departments over the coming weeks regarding any missing/incorrectly recorded records relating to: Previous Employment and Academic Discipline taught and/or researched.

Contact if you have any new queries to raise with the team.

Equality and diversity monitoring data for casual workers

The HR Analytics team have reviewed collection rates of equality and diversity characteristics of casual starters. Departments will have heard from us if low collection rates in particular areas have been identified.

Please remember that 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.

Therefore, please ensure that all casual workers complete an Equality and Diversity form. The HR Analytics team would like to remind Core 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 quick reference guide PA11 - Managing casual worker records section E pages 18-19 and choose Letter Type: Equality and Diversity Form. Alternatively, a non-core version of the form (Staff Starter Form) can be found on the Equality and Diversity website.

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

Please ensure that the appointment ID is recorded on the form to enable the Data Services Team to match the record.

Contact the HR Analytics team on if you have any queries relating to the equality and diversity data (Staff Starter) form.

Casual pay affects our gender pay gap 

Accurately recording the number of hours worked for all casual teachers and casual workers enables the HR Analytics Team to calculate figures for the annual mandatory gender pay gap analysis. Gender pay gap reporting is a legal requirement for all employers with 250 or more employees. Information about gender pay gap reporting is available on the Reward website.

It is crucial that all departments continue to record hours worked and payments accurately, following the guide PA12 – Completing the payment submission spreadsheet for casuals.

The Reward team will follow up on any anomalies identified during the gender pay gap analysis, including hourly rates that are obvious outliers. Please avoid having to field queries by ensuring that you are providing a true and accurate record.

QRG updates

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


REC03 Managing Online Applications (PDF) Note added regarding generating large applicant packs. 
PA12 Completing the payment submission spreadsheet for casuals (PDF) Updated to reflect minor changes made to the casual payment spreadsheet following new legislation taking effect in April 2019. 
CH10 Family Leave (PDF) Notes added to confirm when amendments need to be made to an employees pay. 
People Profile Matrix (PDF) Updated to include additional TSS bucket posts 
Working with the Payroll Deadlines (PDF) Additional information added for clarity 


HRIS Support Centre

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

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 - 17.00 

Deadlines for Personnel users: April payroll

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


Thu 21 March - 5pm 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 March's payroll run.
Fri 22 to Mon 25 March 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 25 Mar 13:00 to Wed 27 Mar 12:00 Full system downtime This downtime, will affect all back office users of CoreHR and applicants using e-Recruitment.
Mon 1 April 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 April. 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).
Thu 4 April 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 4 April 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 4 April Support requests for April 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 8 April - 5pm April 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 18 April April 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.