November 2020 bulletin

News and reminders

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In September’s Bulletin, we explained that our team has undergone a restructure, with a number of team members taking on new or changed roles. Retraining and upskilling while working remotely is challenging. We are also dealing with a higher volume of queries following the go-live of People Management, as well as supporting a number of furlough queries and data changes.

We’re doing our very best to provide a great service but you may find that it takes us a little longer to respond to your questions.

There are a number of ways that you can help us during this busy time:

  1. Complete the Recruitment and People Management navigation eLearners
    Our data indicates that the highest number of queries are coming from those users who have either not completed the eLearners or whizzed through them in record time. We understand that many of you are under immense pressure during this unprecedented crisis, but it is likely to be more efficient for you to complete the eLearners as this will save you from raising multiple queries with the Helpdesk.
  2. Refer to the guidance
    Our new 'How-To' guides and scenario factsheets are comprehensive and should always be your first point of reference for help using the system. If you raise a query with the Helpdesk that can be answered by the guidance, we will start by pointing you to the relevant document.
  3. Check whether you could answer your query through a different route
    For example, could a colleague help you with an Excel query (we’re not experts!)?; would the HR Self-Service Staff Gateway page answer your question about payslips for casuals? The Helpdesk are there to help with the use of CoreHR so please help them to stay focussed on providing this support by routing non-Core questions appropriately.
  4. Send policy and process queries or suggestions to HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk
    We will update our website to make it clear that this alternative route is available to you for general process questions and feedback. 

Thank you for your continued support.

Following completion of the CoreHR Upgrade project, all system processes should now be completed in the Portal.  

Back Office guidance documents have been removed from our website, however, if you need Back Office guidance for the small number of exceptions that currently apply, please contact HRIS Support.

For assistance with using the Portal, users are advised to first complete the People Management and Recruitment navigation eLearners (where relevant). For help with specific system processes, visit our updated User Support pages for step by step guidance.   

The Back Office will remain accessible to you via the Quick Jump menu until all processes can be undertaken in Portal – expected to be early in the New Year. However, we would encourage you to make this transition now – it will never feel like the perfect time!

It is a legal requirement that agency workers have access to the University’s internal vacancies. Please therefore ensure that agency workers in your department are set up in CoreHR, in order to receive access to HR Self-Service and the Internal Job Board.

When processing a rehire in the system, it is crucial that the individual is not made a leaver and then rehired in the same payroll period. If this occurs, the staff member will not receive a P45, which will likely result in incorrect tax deductions and delayed salary payments.

A payroll period begins the day after the ‘no user input’ period through to the start of the next ‘no user input’ period. These dates are highlighted each month on the Payroll Cycle diagram.

To avoid any potential issues, please always follow the guidance on rehires, on pages 5-6 of the How-To Guide: Appoint successful applicants and new starters.
 

The HR Systems team, including HRIS Support, will be closed for the Christmas break from 4pm on Friday 18 December 2020 until 8.30am on Monday 4 January 2021. This extended period includes the additional two days gifted by the VC.

Closing vacancies

To ensure that applicants have access to technical support should they need it, please try to avoid closing any vacancies for the period Monday 21 December 2020 to Monday 4 January 2021 inclusive.

Staff requests and adverts
The evaluation of roles will end on Friday 18 December 2020 and will recommence on Monday 4 January 2021. 

Advert submissions will be accepted up to Monday 14 December 2020.

As most of you will be aware, we experienced technical difficulties with the contract and offer letter templates when trying to update these, following a legislative update earlier this year. Consequently these templates have been unavailable to generate from CoreHR for some time.

The issues with the templates are completely unrelated to the CoreHR Upgrade project or the migration to the Portal; they relate to the complexity of the functions we have historically used within MS Word to create the prompts and fill-ins.

Our team has experienced a lot of changes in the last few months and resources have had to be dedicated to the most urgent tasks and to the upgrade. However, we are now in a position to resume our work on resolving the template issues and will endeavour to have versions available to generate from the Portal as quickly as we possibly can. 

Projects update

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The CoreHR Upgrade project is now complete.

Post go-live user support session
A ‘post go-live’ user support session took place on Thursday 19 November. This covered common themes which have arisen following go-live, including a short tutorial of appointing in the Portal. The session also provided an opportunity for users to raise further questions. Unfortunately we were unable to record the session as planned, however we will record the key aspects of the session, to share with users. In the meantime, please visit the Common Queries page, which has just been updated.

Help us shape the future of user support
There have recently been a number of changes relating to user support and the management of the system. The HR Systems teams have undergone a restructure, we’ve transformed our approach to user support and have also moved to a new supplier-led model of system updates. Help to inform our future approach to support by completing this short survey of just four questions. 

Payroll corner

Users should be aware that payday in December is on Tuesday 22 December, more than a week earlier than the usual end-of-month date. This means that there will be an earlier Main payroll deadline, on Monday 7 December. The deadline for Casual Payroll is Thursday 3 December.

The Payroll Team will be working to tight deadlines, so will not be able to accommodate any late requests in that month. Payroll also ask that users input and approve as many changes as possible well before the deadline, to enable them to complete their work on time.

For further details of upcoming deadlines, please see the December 2020 Payroll Cycle Diagram.

December pay day remains as Tuesday 22 December, regardless of the University closure days. Please note that pay days are the dates on which payroll generated payments will appear as cleared funds in University employees' bank accounts.

Update from the HR Analytics Team

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The HR Analytics team has now released the following 2020-21 data quality reports: 

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.

REF

HESA

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.

HESA

HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2019-20

HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2020-21 - released on Monday 26 October.

Clear validation errors for all vacancies posted externally on or after 1 August 2019 as soon as possible while the report is still shared with you. This will increase the amount of data available in Tableau for Athena Swan applications and to improve University-wide recruitment monitoring data.

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.

HESA

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 or tel: 01865 (2)87900. 

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. 

The Athena Swan staff data Tableau dashboards have been updated as follows:

  • Staff in post (as at 31 July 2020)
  • Leavers/turnover (for the year 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020)
  • Recognition of Distinction (5 years of ROD exercises from the 2014/15 to 2019/20 exercises, showing successful and unsuccessful applications by sex)

If you require access to the Athena Swan data in Tableau please follow the user access process. If you have Athena Swan data queries please contact Tim Harris on athena.staffdata@admin.ox.ac.uk.

As set out in the email from HRIS Support dated 13 November 2020 the HMRC furlough claims process introduces new, tighter deadlines with effect from November. 

It is essential that you record new periods of furlough and updates to furlough in CoreHR by following the Scenario Factsheet in the same month in which the change occurs, and as early as practicable in the month. It is unclear at this stage if back-dated claims can be made to HMRC, therefore timely input of furlough data is essential to ensure that all eligible claims can be made successfully.

New and updated documents

The new user support webpages are now live and provide a range of step-by-step guides and reference materials to help you complete system processes in the Portal. 

Please note that should you have any bookmarked links to Back Office guidance, these pages will be taken down at the end of November. 

This month's deadlines

Please also refer to the December 2020 payroll cycle diagram.

DATE(S)  DEADLINE EXPLANATION 
Fri 20 Nov - 5pm November 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 the payroll run.
Sat 21 to Tues 24 Nov No user input Users cannot enter data into the Personnel module/People Management in the Portal or use menu options under "Core|Personnel>Maintenance".
Thurs 3 Dec Staff request deadline For staff requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by the Payroll deadline on Monday 7 December. 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).
Thurs 3 Dec Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Thurs 3 Dec 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.
Thurs 3 Dec Support requests for December 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.

Mon 7 Dec - 5pm

December 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.
Tues 15 Dec December 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.