March 2021 bulletin

News and reminders

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As shared in the February bulletin, we need to schedule a period of system downtime to complete essential tasks for tax year-end. The schedule for this period 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 from the applicant interface, therefore applicants will be unaffected by this work.

Implications for users                            

HR Self-Service: HR Self-Service will also be unavailable during the system downtime. A notice has been added to 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. 

This month, we will deliver our first quarterly briefing session! This will take place from 10:30-11:30 on Wednesday 24 March, to coincide with the standard no-user input day.

With nearly 200 system users confirmed so far, we look forward to an informative session. We hope you can join us - see our calendar invitation for the full agenda and meeting link.

If you are a confident and regular user of CoreHR and would like to be more closely involved with the latest system developments, we want to hear from you! We are looking to expand the membership of our Product Ownership Groups and would love to have more system users on board.

If you are interested or would like to learn more, please contact Tonya Iasisen-Kandola by Thursday 25 March.

We encourage you to book a 1:1 session with Anna Carter-Windle (Team Lead for HRIS Training and Support) if you need help completing a 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

  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:

  • Wednesday 7 April
  • Thursday 15 April
  • Monday 19 April
  • Wednesday 28 April (subject to change)

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.


Adverts that require posting on the University website (and if applicable) before the Easter fixed closure period will be accepted until 12:00 noon on Monday 29 March 2021.

We are delighted to announce that from early May, departments will be able to publish their own job adverts instantly, with no need to wait for central authorisation.

This change in process, which was one of the recommendations from the Focus review of Recruitment, will give departments full control of the advertising process and lead to faster publishing times.

The system steps to achieve this couldn’t be easier; once you have been given the correct access, simply navigate to the relevant field, enter today’s date, and voila – your advert is live on the website!

The change will be supported by new guidance on advert style and content, and an updated How-To Guide.

We will be providing more information about this at our quarterly CoreHR user briefing on 24 March. Following this, full details, including timescales, will be emailed to all Recruitment Administrators. 

All contract templates have been updated this week to include a new clause on Governing Law within the Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment. In addition, some minor wording discrepancies between the off-system and CoreHR versions were spotted within the Academic-related and Support templates, which have now been updated.

Please continue to use CoreHR to issue contracts and change letters wherever possible. This will help ensure accuracy, consistency and compliance across the University.

To avoid delays in granting new users access to CoreHR, please:

  1. Ensure the information provided on the User Access Form is accurate
  2. Submit the User Access Form via the approved HRIS Guardian. You can check the HRIS Guardian listed for your department here - please contact us if this needs to be updated
  3. Check the new user has a personnel record on CoreHR – system access can only be granted once this is available
  4. Contact us to confirm you have completed your training, in order for us to set up your access (this is not an automated process). Please allow up to 72 hours for access to be granted.

For the full list of steps to gaining access to CoreHR, visit our Training and Access webpage.

Welcome to Nina Karasinska-Stanley from TSS who is managing the adverts email inbox (, replacing Matthew Harris.

This account will be monitored between 09:00 and 13:00 each day, therefore please ensure that requests to set adverts live are sent by 09:00 on the working day before the required start date to allow time to process your request. Please include the vacancy ID (and the previous vacancy ID if it is a re-advertisement), the required start date, and indicate if the vacancy is to be advertised internally or externally.

Adverts that require posting on the University website (and if applicable) before the Easter fixed closure period will be accepted until 12:00 noon on Monday 29 March 2021.

Our Known Issues and Common Queries web pages have recently been updated. Please check these regularly to stay up-to-date with the latest issues and fixes, as well as all the latest hints and tips. Updates include:

  1. 'Search Address' field not working (Appointing wizard) (fixed)
  2. Document templates - Which details/text can I amend within the templates?

The Oxford Living Wage is a minimum hourly pay rate, set by Oxford City Council, which recognises the high cost of living in Oxford.  In November 2020, Oxford City Council raised the Oxford Living Wage from £10.21 to £10.31 per hour. This will be implemented in the University from 1 April 2021, by increasing the bottom point on the University’s salary scale (national spinal point 10) to the value of £19,568.

Meet the team

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

This month, meet the colleagues behind Business Support

Missed last months’ feature?

Read about the colleagues delivering training and user support here.

Payroll corner

The new HMRC Starter Checklist is now available. Please ensure all new starters use this from now on, as it includes a new additional type of Student Loan.

Please make sure that when you are checking the personal information for your starters, the house number is included in their address. Since the change to Portal, several of these are missing, which means Payroll are unable to post payslips and P45s. The Pensions team will also be unable to post essential information to staff.

Remember that it is the responsibility of HR teams to instruct any new starters who do not have an NI number on arrival in the UK, to apply for one immediately. Information for employees is available on the Finance Division and HMRC websites.

Update from the HR Analytics Team

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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.

Any claim for a month must be with HMRC within two weeks of the following month. Once you have entered data to CoreHR, central staff need time to check for accuracy, work with you to resolve errors, and then process that information in order to make the HMRC claim on time. Any records entered after the deadline will not be able to be claimed from HMRC resulting in lost income for the University.

The HR Analytics team would like to thank CoreHR users who have been accurately inputting furlough changes in a timely fashion.

The data quality checking report has been revised and will be launched on 18 March. All checks remain the same as the previous version but please note that the report will not prompt users with errors around missing Academic Qualifications or Academic Discipline Taught and/or Researched. These items must still be collected and entered for staff. The HR Analytics team are working to provide another report to enable you to check for these items and we will update in a future bulletin.

Guidance for working with HRINFO01 can be found here.

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. The data is required for HESA.

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

Contact the HR Analytics team 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.

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.

New and updated documents/reports

We’ve made improvements to the guidance on recording furlough in response to your feedback. If you need help updating furlough information in CoreHR, please book a 1:1 support session.

A new Scenario Factsheet is now available, providing guidance to help understand the University’s pay periods and payroll cycles. 

This month's deadlines

Please refer to the April 2021 payroll cycle diagram.

Guidance on the University’s pay periods and payroll cycles is available here.

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.