September 2019 bulletin

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Revision of University salary scales 2019: all non-clinical staff

The 2019 national pay award for non-clinical staff has been approved for implementation. The uplift is a 1.8% increase on salaries with effect from 1 August 2019, save for the first 11 spine points of the University’s salary and grading structure, where larger increases of up to 3.53% apply.

The uplift will be implemented in the September payroll and backdated to 1 August 2019.  Departments should advertise with the revised rates with immediate effect and refer to the new salary scales when making appointments.  Full details are available from circular PERS(19)06 and accompanying annexes.

The updated Casual Payment Submission Spreadsheet is now available from the Casual Payment Process webpage.  This version should be used for all casual payroll submissions.  The updated Casual pay spine can be found on the Human Resources webpage.

Please check your October increments and approve salary changes

Automatic increments are due to be paid for Professional and Management, Academic and Research grades from 1 October. Please read the following to ensure that the correct rate of pay is taken forward.

How the process works:

The day before the increment is due a new salary record is created automatically. This salary change doesn’t need to be authorised, it will take effect the next day unless it is overridden. After the increment has been applied, the system will set the next increment due date for one year’s time unless the bar point has been reached. For the 1 October process therefore, the new row in the appointment record will become visible to users on 30 September.

Action required:

  1. Undertake a data checking exercise of all records to ensure that the increment date is populated where required: The Increment Due Date’ report will help you to identify any staff with no increment due date, records where the ‘increment on hold’ flag has been ticked which will prevent the increment from happening, or those without a future increment date. You will need to check if any of these records are incorrect and amend/update them if required. Note that in order for an employee to be eligible for an increment on 1 October 2019 they must have been in their current role since at least 1 Jul 2019.
  2. Ensure the correct salary is approved prior to the increment date: The system will add one increment (as applicable) to the current approved salary on the day the job runs. It is therefore essential that employees due an increment on 1 October have the correct salary approved as at 23:59 on 30 September. You should also ensure that any future dated salary lines with an effective date on or after 1 October 2019 have been set at the scale point the employee would be on following the automatic increment. You can use ‘Staff in Post’ report to check current salary data, and the ‘Monthly Personnel Changes’ report to check for any future dated salary changes, and to check the approval status for salary requests.

If you have any questions about this, please contact the HRIS Support Centre.

Screen size issue resolved

An issue was raised post V26 go-live regarding screen size for certain users.  Following investigation, we identified a standard DPI (dots per inch) setting that was in place for CoreHR back office.  By removing this setting, we have enabled the java file that launches CoreHR back office to pick up the DPI currently being used by Windows.  This means that users who would like to increase their screen size can now do so by amending their display settings in Windows.  The CoreHR screen size will increase in line with the percentage selected by the user. 

 

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Examiner Appointments & Payments (EAP) System – updates

As noted in the July bulletin, the appointments module of the EAP system is now live.  As EAP relies upon accessing accurate Right to Work (RTW) information from CoreHR, the process for creating undergraduate examiner/assessor appointments has been revised from 2019/20.

The new process requires undergraduate examiners/assessors who do not hold Chancellors, Masters and Scholars (CMS) contracts to be recorded on CoreHR as ‘Casual Examiners’.  A bucket post (‘CASEXM’) and Job Title (‘Casual Examiner’) are available to use in CoreHR when creating these appointments.   The QRG  PA11 Managing Casual Worker Records and the People Profiles Matrix have been updated to include details of Casual Examiner appointments.  

Data Collection Process

Once a nominated undergraduate examiner/assessor is approved on EAP (and does not have a record on CoreHR), the relevant Exam Board Administrator will receive an automatic notification from EAP.  The Exam Board Administrator will be asked to either:

  • Provide the required information to the departmental CoreHR user(s) by completing the ‘Casual worker new starter data collection form’ (available from the Casual Payment Process webpage); or
  • For HRIS Data Services users, ensure that the ‘Casual worker new appointment form’ is completed and uploaded to the Data Services SharePoint site by an authorised user in their department/faculty.

Letters of Engagement

Letters of engagement for examiners/assessors have been updated for the 2019/20 academic year, and are now owned by the HR Policy team.  These letters will be issued to all examiners/assessors who do not hold CMS contracts, for both undergraduate and postgraduate exam boards.  Letters of engagement will be issued automatically by the EAP system.  Confirmation of acceptance will be handled via an online form, minimising the administrative burden for departments and for examiners/assessors.

EAP Payments Module

The payments module of the EAP system will enable Exam Board Administrators to submit payments for examiner/assessors. Exam Board Chairs will also use this module, as will departmental Financial Counter-signatories.  Payments will be sent via EAP to Payroll (for undergraduate exams) or Accounts Payable (for postgraduate exams).  Holiday pay will be automatically assigned to examiners/assessors who do not hold CMS contracts and are nominated to undergraduate boards.  The Payments module is currently due to go live on 8 October 2019.  Roadshows will be running during October and November, and training will be offered to Exam Board Administrators.  

Post-launch

The EAP project will close in November, after which ongoing first-line system support, as well as training, will be provided by the Student Systems Support Centre.  The central Examinations and Assessments team in the Student Registry will provide support for process-related issues.

CoreHR upgrade project - Phase 2

Since the upgrade to v26 in May, the project team has been working with CoreHR and internal teams to agree the best way to deliver the rest of the project. Our options are limited by CoreHR’s preferred implementation approach but as far as possible we are aiming to introduce changes at a pace that can be accommodated by our users.  The table below summarises the current planned activity and likely timescales for the remaining work:

 

Current planned timeframe for phase 2 of the upgrade project

Jan/Feb 2020

Move Recruitment and Personnel modules to the Portal

No significant change in process expected

No new optional features introduced

Mandatory training/briefings to be held for all users in advance of go-live

May/June 2020

Upgrade to v28

Introduce new features – to be agreed and prioritised by the HR function and departmental stakeholders

New reporting tool

New training approach for future upgrades and new users

 

Over the next few weeks we will update our project webpage with more information about the second phase. Look out for more details in next month’s Bulletin about how we plan to involve users and other key stakeholders in prioritising and decision-making.

Update on v26 go-live issues: We have made good progress with fixing the issues identified since the v26 go-live, and seven out of ten of the issues have now been fixed. Please visit the Known Issues webpage for all the latest updates and further details.

HRIS Training – preparation for future approach

The HRIS Training team are currently preparing for the next phase of the CoreHR Upgrade Project, which will involve implementation of new functionality on the current version of the system (v26).  This will require development of new ‘business as usual’ training, as well as training to upskill existing CoreHR users.  Further information on the new training approach will be available in the coming months.

While we are focussed on this programme of development, it will not be possible to provide any additional or unscheduled training.  If you require training for the Casuals Administrator role, please contact us on hris.training@admin.ox.ac.uk.  For all other upcoming CoreHR training, please refer to the Courses descriptions and dates webpage.

A new way to log and investigate incidents across the University

The University Safety Office is introducing a new online system to support the processes for incident reporting. The new Incident Reporting and Investigation System (“IRIS”) will replace the current paper-based system, improving efficiency, allowing access to data in real time, and ensuring compliance with government legislation and GDPR. The solution will enable worldwide access to all relevant parties at any time via a mobile app.

A project team has been created, with members from the Safety Office and IT Services working together with a dedicated User Group, to ensure the new service is implemented and embedded across the University.

The project team will be running user acceptance testing sessions throughout October with a variety of users and roles. This testing will ensure the system meets the University’s requirements and allows users to verify that it is fit for purpose and ready to implement.

A phased roll out across the University will begin in January 2020, accompanied by a range of communications to make sure that all staff are aware of the new system and how to access it.

See the project webpage for more information.

If you have any questions, please email the project team irisprojectcomms@it.ox.ac.uk

Avoiding duplicate employee records

As emphasised in the CorePersonnel training and outlined in the QRGs, when setting up a new starter, rehire or transfer it is essential that you perform the following checks to establish if a record already exists for that individual:

  • Make sure you search by surname and either date of birth or NI number (if available)
  • Don’t forget you can only search by one criteria at a time and remember to press ‘clear’ between each search
  • When searching on the surname, remember that the name could be misspelt or in some cases may be double barrelled.  It is therefore advisable to search on the first few letters only followed by a %. This will return all records where the name starts with those letters and increase the likelihood of finding a previous record, particularly where the original record relates to a payment for casual work and no NI number is available to check against.

Performing thorough checks ahead of setting up a record will prevent additional corrective work later. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to thoroughly search for existing employee records, before setting up a new one.

Data Quality Validation: New reports for 2019-20

The HR Analytics team have now released the 2019-20 data quality reports. Please run the following three reports at least monthly and clear any errors in a timely manner.

HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2019-20

  • Person and appointment errors/warnings

All employee appointments active for any period of time from 1 August 2019 until 31 July 2020.

HRINFO20 Casual Worker Data Quality Validation 2019-20

  • Casual worker errors/warnings

All casual worker and casual teaching appointments active for any period of time from 1 August 2019 until 31 July 2020.

HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality report 2019-20

  • Vacancy and applicant errors/warnings

All vacancies posted externally from 1 August 2019 to the date that the report was run.

Please note that this year there are no changes to the data quality rules included in the reports

The HR Analytics Team website provides guidance on making the indicated changes to clear the data anomalies highlighted in the reports. Send any new requests for guidance on correcting errors and specific queries about the reports to the HR Analytics team on hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Contact the HRIS Support Centre hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or tel: 01865 (2)87900 if you have any technical problems making data changes to CoreHR.

    Data Quality Validation: Clear errors for 2018-19 as soon as possible

    Thank you to those of you who have cleared all errors from the 2018-19 HRINFO01, HRINFO20 & HRINFO21 reports. For those of you who haven’t yet done so please clear the errors from the previous 2018-19 versions of these reports while they are still shared with you.

    As the deadlines for the REF2021, HESA staff return, Athena SWAN and Medical Schools Council surveys are approaching, please run and clear all red error messages from the three data quality reports as soon as possible:

    • HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2018-19
    • HRINFO20 Casual Worker Data Quality Validation 2018-19
    • HRINFO21 Vacancy and applicant data quality 2018-19 - shows all vacancies from the academic years, (1 August – 31 July), 2018-19 and new ones added in 2019-20 to the date that report was run. It is advisable to make all the corrections and updates that you can to increase the amount of data available in Tableau for Athena Swan applications and to improve University-wide recruitment monitoring data. Please follow all guidance in the recruitment Quick Reference Guides.

    HESA queries – Thank you

    In order to complete the HESA staff return for 2018-19 the HR Analytics Team are sending out a number of individual queries regarding missing or invalid data. The team would like to thank everyone for responding promptly to queries raised. Please expect to receive some queries from us during September.

    Athena SWAN Tableau data update

    Staff in post, Recognition of Distinction and leavers/turnover data will be refreshed by mid-October. The timing of the remaining refreshes depends on data issues being resolved in CoreHR where highlighted via email or in the data quality reports (HRINFO01, HRINFO20 and HRINFO21), and on the progress of the HESA staff return.

    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.

    QRG updates

    Significant changes have been made to the guides below, i.e. where there are new/changes to processes and procedures or to provide clarity:

     

    Allowance Guide (PDF)

    The Allowance Guide has been updated to include the four new allowances below:

    • External Salary Supplement (Pensionable)
    • External Salary Supplement (Non-Pensionable)
    • Buy out grant (Pensionable)
    • Buy out grant (Non-pensionable) 
       

     

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

     

    People Profiles Matrix (PDF) Sub status for PSCs updated  

     

     

     

     

    HRIS Support Centre

    Contact details for the team are:  hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or tel: 01865 (2)87900.

    Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 - 17.00 

    Please also refer to the October 2018 payroll Cycle  (PDF)

     

    DATE(S)  DEADLINE EXPLANATION 
    Fri 20 Sep - 5pm September 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.
    Sat 21 to Tue 24 Sep 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).
    Thu 3 Oct Staff request deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Tuesday 8 Oct. 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 4 Oct Casual payments deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
    Tue 8 Oct 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.
    Tue 8 May Support requests for May 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.
    Thu 10 May - 5pm Sep 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 23 Oct May 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.

     

     
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