October 2020 bulletin

News and reminders

Following completion of the upgrade to v28, we are now working to CoreHR’s 'Software as a Service' model, a key feature of which is regular minor updates and fixes (or 'patches').

These updates will usually be minor and include critical fixes and small changes, most of which will not impact your experience of using the system. We will receive these updates into a test system one week before they are released to the live system, during which time we will analyse the impact and communicate any changes that may affect you.

These updates will be applied to our live system every other Wednesday evening, at some point between 8pm and midnight.

Depending on the size of the update, the system will be unavailable for up to an hour during this window. A system message will appear in red at the top of your portal landing page, two days before the downtime update is due to be applied, to remind you. 

We will also place a permanent message on all relevant webpages to alert users.

New advice – avoid Thursday closing dates if you can

As the system will routinely be unavailable for a brief period on Wednesday evenings we recommend that, as far as possible, you avoid closing your vacancies on a Thursday. This reduces the likelihood of an applicant needing to access their application while the system is unavailable.

The text on our System Availability and Login page will be updated to reflect this new guidance.

Oxford Mosaic has a regular 'at-risk' period from 8:00 - 10:00 on Thursday mornings to complete essential maintenance work. While this work is taking place, users may experience intermittent issues with navigation to Mosaic websites, including HR Systems.  

If you encounter issues accessing the CoreHR login page during these periods, remember that CoreHR can also be accessed via the HR Self-Service webpage

The following item has been replicated from the October Finance Bulletin:

The UK Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy on 6 April 2017. The Levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships. Employers in England who pay the Levy, which include the University, are able to access funding through a digital apprenticeship service account which enables them to select and pay Government-approved training providers for apprenticeship training. The levy is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer's pay bill.

Due to limitations in system functionality, exported payroll costs from CoreHR to Oracle have previously excluded the cost of the Levy and for departmentally funded staff this charge has been met centrally. For externally funded projects, the Research Accounts Team calculate the apprenticeship levy by person and project and charge it manually to all eligible projects on a monthly basis.

As part of the forthcoming upgrade to the CoreHR system, the University will adopt standard functionality to export payroll costs from CoreHR to Oracle. This brings benefits as the standard functionality will receive legislative changes more promptly and with a lower implementation risk.

This change in the interface between CoreHR and Oracle now allows the Finance Division to charge the Apprentice levy automatically to the same code in Oracle as the payroll cost from October 2020.

Budgetary Implications for 2020/21

The cost of the Apprenticeship Levy relating to departmentally funded staff will be met from local budgets from October 2020. The Budget & Forecasting Tool (BFT) will be updated to reflect the change from the Q1 forecast onwards. It will, therefore, add the cost of the Apprenticeship Levy to forecast staff costs to reflect the charge to departmental accounts. There will be no retrospective adjustment for August or September 2020. 

Externally Funded Research

Where a research funder will not pay the Apprenticeship Levy, Research Accounts will process an adjustment posting the ineligible Levy to the GL account **0000-51430.  Departments will need to take care when transferring personnel costs between projects, depending on the eligibility rules of different funders with regards to the levy. 

The department is responsible for journaling eligible Levy to a project when personnel costs have been transferred from a project where the costs are ineligible to one where they are. However, when the reverse occurs and costs are transferred between a project where the costs are eligible to where they are not, Research Accounts will undertake the required journal to remove the costs at the next financial reporting deadline for that funder.

Funding for Apprenticeships

While the Levy will ultimately represent an additional cost to departments, it also provides opportunities to fund professional training for existing staff in a wide variety of roles, as well as new entrant apprentices. Further information on how to access funding for training and apprenticeships can be found at https://www.apprenticeships.ox.ac.uk/.

Employees of Oxford Colleges are eligible to apply for internal-only University job vacancies advertised through the Internal Job Board in Employee Self-Service. However, as they do not have access to the University’s Employee Self-Service, they can view and apply for University internal vacancies via an alternative route:

  1. College employees have visibility of internal-only vacancies via a live feed from CoreHR to a dedicated webpage that they navigate to from the Conference of Colleges website.
  2. The webpage advises potential applicants to complete a short MS Word Application Form and a Supplementary Detail Form (which includes the 'Private Questions' section of the online application form) and to email these, along with a CV and Supporting Statement, to the contact email address included in the advert. 
  3. When the department receives the off-system application form, they need to add the applicant details and documentation to the vacancy in CoreHR, for consideration by the recruitment panel in the usual way. 

A new How-To Guide has been created for Recruitment Administrators, which explains how to add applications from College staff to the vacancy in CoreHR. It is a quick and easy process.

We don’t anticipate that departments will receive a high number of applications that need to be managed in this way. If you have questions about the process, or need further guidance, please contact HRIS Support in the usual way.

We’re looking for a quick learner with strong problem-solving skills to join our supportive, friendly team. This vacancy is fixed term to cover maternity leave (expected to be a minimum of 10 months).

The advert below will be live on the University jobs webpage this week. For an informal chat about the role, please contact Mandy Zaccheo by email or via Teams. 


Business Change Analyst

Grade 6: £29,176 - £34,804 per annum
Fixed term to cover maternity leave (expected to be a minimum of 10 months)

Our supportive, friendly team needs a quick learner with strong problem-solving skills to join us in this varied and flexible role.

The HR Systems team is responsible for delivering and maintaining systems and supporting services to the University’s HR and payroll functions, primarily using CoreHR. 

In this role, you will develop expertise in a number of HR systems functional areas and build relationships within the CoreHR user community to facilitate good understanding of business processes and change impact. You will contribute to the analysis of new functionality, provide process diagrams and analytics where needed, and actively participate in decision-making. You will also create and maintain user support material and get the opportunity to acquire skills in software such as MS Visio, Articulate 360 and Accessplanit, as well as in the CoreHR system itself.

If you have excellent communication and IT skills, a strong analytical approach, and can work well as part of a highly motivated team, we would love to hear from you.

Interviews will be held on Monday 16th November (via MS Teams). 

Closing date: Monday 2nd November.

Projects update

We are pleased to confirm that the upgrade to v28 was successfully delivered on Tuesday 6 October. The What’s New in version 28 document provides a summary of the key system changes and fixes to existing 'known issues'. 

Delay of People Management go-live

As communicated, the go-live of People Management (ie Personnel migrating to the Portal) has been delayed due to unforeseen technical issues. The upgrade project and HR Systems team continue to work with our supplier to resolve this. Users will be contacted with a revised date for its release once this has been confirmed. In the meantime, please continue to complete Personnel processes in the Back Office.

Have you completed the Recruitment and People Management navigation eLearners?

System users are advised to complete the relevant system navigation eLearners before using these aspects of CoreHR:

The Recruitment navigation eLearner has been updated to reflect the changes delivered in v28 on 6 October. All CoreHR Recruitment users are encouraged to complete this before accessing the updated system. 
The People Management eLearner is designed to prepare users for completing Personnel tasks in the Portal, in preparation for the upcoming release of People Management. 

Fix for HR Reporting password resets

We’re pleased to report that we now have a solution for the issue relating to resetting HR Reporting passwords. If you have forgotten your HR Reporting password, please contact HR Support and they will provide guidance on the process for resetting it.

Questions? Contact us at corehrupgrade@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Payroll Corner

As some departments begin to re-open, please note that the Payroll Staff are still working from home for the foreseeable future and at least until early next year, so you must continue to send your submissions to your Payroll contact electronically.

You will be advised when there is a return to work and the internal post can be used again.

Update from the HR Analytics Team

The HR Analytics team have now released the following two 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.

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 2019-20





HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2020-21 is to be 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.

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 the HRIS Support Centre 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.

The HR Analytics team would like to remind CoreHR users to ensure timely keying of 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. Late keying could impact claims made to the HMRC.

In order to complete the HESA staff return for 2019-20 the HR Analytics Team have been sending out a number of individual queries around a variety of CoreHR fields. The HR Analytics Team would like to thank everyone who has responded promptly to these requests at this busy time and assure you that your assistance has been appreciated.

New and updated documents

A year ago we informed you that our approach to CoreHR training would be transformed as part of the CoreHR upgrade project. In addition to introducing a new blended-learning programme, this also included the rollout of new, simplified user guides (replacing QRGs with ‘How-to guides’ and ‘Scenario factsheets’) which were easy to locate. 

We’re pleased to confirm that in line with People Management go-live, we’ll be releasing new user support web pages offering improved navigation to these resources. We’ll continue to categorise the guides in line with the ‘employee lifecycle’, and have grouped all relevant guides and policy against the related scenarios. We hope that this new approach will enable you to find this information easily. Some system users have helped us to finesse the new approach, and we would welcome further user feedback once these pages are live.

Further to the item above, from October 2020, the payroll costing reports PAYDEP01 and PAYDEP02 will be updated to include the Apprenticeship Levy.

The historical payroll costing report (PAYDEP02) will display calculations for Apprentice Levy going back to April 2017 as this was when the Apprentice Levy was being calculated within CoreHR. However, this may not match the charges against the Financials system or what has appeared in the payroll costing report as the Apprentice Levy was taken centrally up until this point and was therefore removed from all reports. 

This month's deadlines

Please also refer to the November 2020 payroll cycle diagram.

Fri 23 to Mon 26 Oct 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).
Tues 3 Nov Staff request deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Friday 6 November. 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 5 Nov Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Fri 6 Nov 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.
Fri 6 Nov Support requests for November 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.
Tues 10 Nov - 5pm November 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.

Fri 20 Nov

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 this month's payroll run.