March 2020 bulletin

News and reminders

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As noted in the February 2020 bulletin and subsequent email, we will need to schedule a period of system downtime and restricted access to the back office to complete essential tasks for tax year-end.
The schedule for this period will be as follows:

  • Tuesday 24 March - standard “no user input period” for Core Personnel users.
  • Wednesday 25 March - standard “no user input period” for Core Personnel users during working hours.  Users will have access to back office removed from 5.00pm. There will be an hour of full system downtime at 9.00pm.
  • Thursday 26 March - extended “no user input period” for Core Personnel users and no access to the back office. 
  • Friday 27 March - subject to successful implementation, users will have full access to the system returned. 


An advantage of CoreHR in the cloud is that we can schedule faster, out of-hours downtime. This year we only have an hour of scheduled downtime on Wednesday 25 March. On Thursday 26 March, users will have access to recruitment and staff requests in the portal, as well as access to Discoverer for reporting.  The applicant portal and HR Self-Service will also be fully available on Thursday 26 March.

The period of downtime on Wednesday 25 March will affect all modules of the CoreHR Back Office and Portal, including the applicant portal.  A message will be placed on the jobs and vacancies web page to inform applicants of the downtime, and on the Staff Gateway page regarding HR Self-Service.  Users will receive a further reminder before the downtime takes place. 

As always, we will aim to keep the duration of any downtime and restricted user access to an absolute minimum. If you have any questions regarding the above downtime or no user input period, please do not hesitate to contact the HRIS Support Centre.

This is a reminder of the correct approach for handling queries relating to HR Self-Service.  Employees should liaise with departmental HR contacts in the first instance.  Queries relating to the employee's data should be managed internally within the department.  For queries relating to access, HR contacts should first check:

  • Does the individual hold a contract of employment with University of Oxford?  Individuals with other statuses (e.g. Casual workers, visitors) are not eligible for HR Self-Service. 
  • Is the individual accessing HR Self-Service via the University IT network?  HR Self-Service is only available via the University network, or remotely using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).  Visit the IT Help page or contact your local IT officer for guidance on how to install VPN.
  • For new starters - has the individual received their Single Sign-On (SSO) details?

If there is still an issue (e.g. an error stating 'something has gone wrong, no employee mapping found'), the HR contact should provide the details to the HRIS Support Centre.  
Note that errors will be reduced by ensuring details on the employee's card match those on CoreHR.  For new starters, please check that the information on the card form (particularly the name) matches the information on the new starter data collection form.

As noted in the HR Newsletter and HR briefings, legislation requires additional information to be included in contracts with effect from 6 April. This legislation also requires that all new employees and workers (starting on or after 6 April) receive contracts on or before their first day in post. 

Updated versions of all non-CoreHR contract templates (with the exception of the Marie Curies) and casual agreements are now available on the HR Support Contract templates webpage. Apprenticeship contracts are available on the HR Support Templates webpage.  CoreHR versions of these documents will be available shortly. In the meantime, for all new appointments which are due to start wef April 2020, a new format contract must be used so please use the off-system template if a contract needs to be issued before the CoreHR version is available.

In order to produce an employee contract via CoreHR, you will need to have appointed the successful candidate in the Personnel module. You should only do this once a start date has been confirmed with the employee. If you subsequently need to amend the employee’s ‘appointed’ date, you will need to contact HRIS Support Centre. The employee appointment should only be commenced and approved on (or as soon as possible after) the employee’s first day of work. When commencing the employee, you can enter a revised start date if this is later than the appointed date. If the revised start date is earlier than the appointed date, you will need to contact HRIS Support Centre. QRG: PANS0 Pre Arrival and New Starter Guide has been updated to reflect this.  

Casual workers will also need to be appointed in order to produce an engagement letter. Wherever possible casual workers should be appointed on CoreHR ahead of their start date. The casual worker’s appointment start date must be no later than the earliest date of any casual work completed. This is necessary for the relevant pay line on the casual payment spreadsheet to be processed. The casual appointment also needs to be commenced and approved by the casual payments deadline in order for payments to be processed. If you are unable to complete the appointment setup in CoreHR by the casual worker’s first day, you should use the non-CoreHR version of the engagement letter. QRG: PA11 Managing Casual Worker Records has been updated for clarification.

Users are reminded that casual appointments should be ended once the casual worker’s final payment has been processed. As casual workers are paid in arrears, in many cases this will be at the end of the month after the casual work is complete. Further details can be found in PA11 - Managing Casual Records.  

The updated casual engagement letter has been expanded to explain how accrued untaken holiday is paid at the end of the engagement. Staff responsible for casual payment submissions should ensure that any such untaken holiday is indeed paid at the end of the engagement.

The payroll deadline for April will be Wednesday 8 April 2020, in order to accommodate the Easter break. Details of upcoming Main and Casual payroll deadlines can be found on the Payroll webpages.  The April Payroll Cycle diagram. 

HRIS Support Centre availability

The HRIS Support Centre will be closed from 5pm on Wednesday 8 April until 8.30am on Tuesday 14 April 2020. CoreHR will be available to users and applicants during this time.

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 University HR will also be closed during this period. Staff requests will not be processed from 12.00 noon on Wednesday 8 April until Tuesday 14 April.

Adverts that require posting on before Easter will be accepted until 12.00 noon on Friday 3 April 2020. Adverts for the University site only will be accepted until 12.00 noon on Tuesday 7 April

Projects update

Recruitment successfully moved to the Portal – February 2020

Users should now be undertaking all Recruitment processes in the Portal with the exception of the items listed on the Known Issues page.

If you manage applications and vacancies in CoreHR, you are required to complete all seven Recruitment eLearners before using the Portal. If you access Recruitment on a read-only basis, you are advised to complete the first two courses only.

Refresher versions of the eLearners, which cover the main content of the Recruitment training, are now available in PDF format from the User Support and Guides webpage. These materials are intended for use on completion of the online training and are not a substitute for the eLearners.

We would like to thank you for your support during this phase. We will be sending a survey to all Recruitment users shortly to gather your views. This will help to inform our approach to the next phase.

Planning for Phase 2.2

Planning for Phase 2.2 has now commenced. This will include an upgrade to CoreHR version 28, the migration of CorePersonnel to the Portal, and the move to online-only payslips and P60s. More information, including what this means for users and timescales, will be shared in the coming weeks.

Do you have the correct CoreHR access?

During Phase 2.2, the project team will target its communications to ensure information is tailored to users’ specific needs, based on their system roles (eg Personnel Administrator, Pay Approver etc). To ensure you receive only the relevant information, please check that you have the correct system access for your role. The HRIS Support Centre/project team will contact you in the coming weeks to ask you to confirm this.  Please speak to your HRIS Guardian to ensure that your access is correct.

Payslips and P60s - Preparations for going paperless

University-wide communications have begun to prepare staff for the move to online-only payslips and P60s in June this year. We have also sent a communications toolkit to key contacts to assist departments with preparing their staff for this change.

The project team are also liaising with key contacts to make arrangements for staff who, due to exceptional circumstances, will need to receive paper payslips after June.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Payroll corner

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The monthly main payroll deadline dates are published at the start of each calendar year on the Payroll website and every month in this bulletin.  Tasks that require Payroll approval must be input and approved by this date.  Leavers should also be input by the main monthly deadline. This is so that final deductions for nursery fees, childcare vouchers and season ticket loans can be picked up early and corrected where necessary. Where you have received late notification of leavers, you have until the supplementary deadline to input them. Please do not save all your leavers until then, as it is there for last minute changes only. If a leaver has an open Casual post (which is also ending), you must close this as well using the same leaving date or an earlier one so that a P45 is produced. If you ask for a P45 to go to the employee’s home address, you must ensure that their home address is correct In CoreHR. HMRC does not allow P45s to be duplicated, so if a P45 is sent to an incorrect address this will affect the future taxation of your employee.

Further to yesterday’s email about remote working across the Finance Division by the close of business on Friday March 20th at the latest, there will be the following changes to the Payroll process:

ALL documentation must now be sent electronically to your Payroll Officer. Contact details can be found on the payroll webpages. NO paper submissions are now being accepted.

The web-page for Finance Division Coronavirus updates will incorporate FAQs from departments about payroll.

Payroll deadlines for April remain as Wednesday April 8th for Main Payroll and Friday April 3rd for Casual submissions, as published at the start of the year on

Priority activities

The Payroll Team will be working to maintain the usual level of service but if staff resource reduces due to caring responsibilities or absence priority will be given to activities in the following order:

  • checking leavers and inputs for the monthly payrolls;
  • approving input of any new starters and variable data;
  • checking reductions in payment following departmental input to the payroll system;
  • relocation expenses.

If there is no access to offices there will be no distribution of payslips. Staff can access their payslips through the CoreHR portal.


The end of remote working and the associated electronic payroll process will be notified by email to this email list.

Please ensure that this message, and future messages about the operation of Finance services, are communicated as appropriate within your department.

Queries about payroll should be directed to your Payroll Officer.

Update from the HR Analytics Team

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Report name Action required  
HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2019-20

Clear validation errors for all employee appointments active for any period of time on or after 1 August 2019 as soon as possible with a deadline to correct errors by Friday 31 January.


As an extract of employees in post as at 31 January 2020 will be taken for reporting purposes, the HR Analytics team will continue to contact all departments with a significant number of outstanding data issues.


For additional details about the report, refer to HRINFO01 Data quality validation report .

HRINFO20_Casual Worker Data Quality Validation 2019-20               

Clear validation errors for all casual worker and casual teaching appointments active for any period from 1 August 2019 in a timely manner.

HRINFO20 Casual worker data quality validation report now gives additional details about the report.

     HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2019-20

Clear validation errors for all vacancies posted externally on or after 1 August 2019 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


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 the HRIS Support Centre or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

Contact the HR Analytics team on 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.

New guidance on maintaining correct cost allocations is available on the HR Analytics web pages. Cost allocations are used for the HESA Staff Return, REF2021 and also impact the Payroll Costing Report.

Please continue to email with particular data entry difficulties and/or areas of confusion. The HR Analytics team will collate responses and work to provide answers in hints and tips sections on our web pages.

From 2019-20 onwards HESA have updated the list of Academic Teaching Qualifications collected as part of the annual return. The new codes are now available in CoreHR. As part of this change, the New Starter Data Collection Form has been updated to reflect the revised qualifications list. The non-CoreHR version of the new form can be obtained from Other Documents section of the New Starter web page. The CoreHR version will follow shortly.

Further web page guidance on collection of Academic Teaching Qualifications can be found at:

Accurately recording the number of hours worked for all casual teachers, casual examiners 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 in the revised payment submission spreadsheet available to download from the Casual Payment Process webpage. See PA12 – Completing the payment submission spreadsheet for casuals for guidance on completing the spreadsheet.

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.

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.


The HR Analytics team have reviewed collection rates of equality and diversity characteristics of casual only starters since 1 August 2019 and the overall completion rate is low. Departments with low collection rates will hear from us in June so please ensure that all casual only starters complete an Equality and Diversity form.


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 Casual Payment Process web page. Please ensure that the appointment ID is recorded on the form to enable HRIS Data Services to match the record.

The casual worker should email the completed form to

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

The HR Analytics team will be in touch with departments over the coming weeks regarding any missing/incorrectly recorded records relating to previous employment, (Immediately Previous Employment and Previous HEI employment), and Academic Teaching Qualifications.

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

New and updated documents and reports

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PANS0 Pre Arrival and New Starter Guide (PDF)

Note added about when to produce employee contracts. See item above

PA11 Managing Casual Worker Records (PDF) Note added about when to produce employee contracts. See item above
New Starter Data Collection Form - Non Core Version (DOC) Updated to reflect the revised Academic Teaching Qualifications list. See item above
PERDEP01 – Staff in post  The “OD StaffID” column has been removed from all tabs, and on the Full Data Set tab it has been replaced with SSO
New titles Prof Dame and Prof Sir
List of Title in CoreHR New job title Business support officer added


HRIS user support

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

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 - 17.00 

This month's deadlines

Please also refer to the April 2020 Payroll Cycle

Mon 23 Mar - 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 this month's payroll run.
Tue 24 to Thu 26 Mar Extended no user input Users cannot enter data into the personnel module or use menu options under "Core|Personnel>Maintenance".
Wed 1 Apr Staff request deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Thursday 26 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).
Fri 3 Apr Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Mon 6 Apr 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.
Mon 6 Apr Support requests for Apr 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.
Wed 8 Apr - 5pm Apr 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.
Wed 22 Apr Apr 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.