September 2020 bulletin

News and reminders

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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 2020 they must have been in their current role since at least 1 Jul 2020.
  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 29 September. You should also ensure that any future dated salary lines with an effective date after 1 October 2020 have been set at the scale point the employee would be on following the automatic increment. You can use the 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.

The 2020 national pay award for doctors in training has been approved for implementation at Oxford. The award provides for an increase of 2% to basic pay and pay premia with effect from 1 April 2020.

The pay increase will be implemented in the September payroll and backdated to 1 April 2020. The salary scales for Clinical Consultants and Clinical Excellence Awards have not yet been uplifted. Awards for these scales are pending approval from the Personnel Committee and the Planning and Resources Allocation Committee and will be announced at a later date.

Please find more details in the circular posted on the HR website.

Remember, if you are rejecting a Staff Request in the system because the post was rejected under the Recruitment Protocol, you must record the details of which panel reviewed the case (add: 'department', 'division', 'PVC', 'SAP' or 'RRP' as applicable), as well as the reason for rejection in the Approval Comments field. You must also attach the Protocol Checker to the Staff Request as evidence that approval was sought and rejected.

It is critical that you record this information so that we can provide the required data to Personnel Committee and PRAC, to allow them to monitor the effectiveness of the protocol and shape its future direction. 

RQ1 – Creating and approving a Staff Request includes this guidance. To ensure you are complying with the protocol process, please refer to this when creating and approving/rejecting a Staff Request.

KPMG, the University’s external auditors will be carrying out their annual final audit of the University during the 7 weeks from 14 September 2020. As part of this audit, KPMG will want to take a sample of CoreHR data relating to starters, leavers, amendments to standing data and payroll changes as they have done in previous years and in order to check it to back-up documentation which is often held in the departments. They will also review any material redundancy packages.

KPMG have the right under their audit terms with the University to ask for this information as it could impact on the accuracy of the financial statements; they also have a confidentiality agreement with the University. HR officers are asked to respond promptly to all queries asked by a member of KPMG, who will all have a “kpmg.co.uk” email address.

The whole audit will be conducted remotely so this may mean we need to set up some teams meeting to go through information and use “shared screen” for KPMG to see some information.

We will try and to obtain in advance the departments that KPMG intend to pick their sample from so we can pre-warn you of the need for information and provide details of the auditor who will be in contact. Information should be sent securely to KPMG to comply with GDPR.

Any questions or concerns about this audit should be directed to Charles Morgan, Payroll Manager, or Ben Heath, Director of Technical Accounting and Reporting.
 

The HR Systems team is in the final stages of a restructure which will formally come into effect on 9 October.

The restructure was necessary to enable the team to respond effectively to the challenge of CoreHR’s new “Software as a Service” model, which will introduce frequent “rapid” upgrades.

The key changes to the team are:

  • Consolidation of business change and first line support into one team, with no delineation between projects and “business as usual”.
  • New Training Team lead role, which will be recruited to on a fixed-term basis, to embed the new approach to training and user support (subject to recruitment protocol approval).
  • Move of the HRIS Data Service under the HR Analytics team.

The new structure removes the overlap between some roles and supports the University’s requirement to reduce operating costs. Some team members have moved on to pastures new and others are taking on new or changed roles within the team. We also have a couple of upcoming maternity leaves! Over the next few months we will be re-branded as HR Systems, to recognise that we are one team – more details to follow.

We hope that you will, in due course, see some of the benefits of this reorganisation. Our new team structure is available here.

We would like to make you aware that we are currently unable to offer the full CoreHR training programme prior to 12 October, while we transition from v26 to v28.

To ensure that we are able to support you and any new starters in the best way possible, please email hris.training@admin.ox.ac.uk if you have any new starters who will require CoreHR access before then.

Projects update

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With just two weeks to go to the v28 upgrade, we’d like to draw your attention to our final go-live newsletter, which will be circulated next week (w/c 21 September). In this issue, we’ll share further go-live details and remind you of the key dates.  

Updated Recruitment Navigation eLearner now available

As communicated in our most recent Go-Live Q&A session, the Recruitment Navigation eLearner has now been updated to reflect the changes to be delivered in v28. Whilst you may already be familiar with Recruitment in the Portal, the upgrade will bring differences to the user interface. We therefore encourage all CoreHR Recruitment users to complete this before accessing the updated system. You can access all training and support materials for go-live from the project training page

System downtime and live vacancies

Where vacancies will remain live during system downtime, please ensure you have given adequate time following go-live, for applicants to apply.

We are pleased to confirm that the system downtime won’t impact advertising times. A standby recruitment page will be made available to potential applicants who will be able to view the full advert text for each vacancy. Therefore, providing you have met the requirements for Tier 2 advertising, no further action would be required.
Questions? Contact us at corehrupgrade@admin.ox.ac.uk

Following a Focus programme review, HR Systems is working with a small number of departments to pilot CoreHR’s time and absence management module; CoreTime. The pilot will implement online timesheets for casual workers, as well as absence management for professional and support staff and some researchers and academics.

The pilot is scheduled to deliver in January 2021. If successful, funding will be sought to support the roll out of this functionality to departments across the University. We will keep you updated on progress through this Bulletin.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact us at coretime@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Payroll corner

The casual payroll deadline has been moved to 6 October to allow for system downtime, as a result of the CoreHR Upgrade. Please note that the main payroll deadline remains as Friday 9 October.

NB Don’t forget that you’ve been able to process payroll transactions for the month of October, since Friday 11 September. However, transfers and regrades must only be processed from Friday 25 September (ie AFTER the no-user input dates: 23 and 24 September). We hope you’ve been able to benefit from the extra time to process transactions in advance of the planned October system downtime.

Since the start of lockdown there has been a huge decrease in the number of tax forms (P45s and Starter Checklists) being sent to Payroll. This will inevitably mean that many of your employees are paying too much tax. It would be a useful exercise to go back and check that you have sent either form for each of your new starters since April. Going forward, please ensure that you do this for all future starters. You should send all forms direct to your Payroll Officer by email.

This is the tax advice that has been given previously, but has been updated. Please read this, especially if you are new to the job yourself, as this is essential information that affects your employees’ pay:

“It is essential that departments send a tax form (either P45 or Starter checklist) to Payroll for every new starter. Please build this into your new starter procedures/checklists if it is not already there. You must first ask every starter for a P45. When they give it to you, please send parts two and three to your Payroll Officer by email. If your employee does not have a P45 on day one (e.g. employee is new to the UK, or previous employer has not yet sent it) then they must complete a Starter Checklist, to be sent to your Payroll Officer by email. If the employee subsequently receives their P45, this must still be sent to Payroll regardless of whether a Starter Checklist has already been provided (the preference is for Payroll to receive both forms rather than neither). Many staff are paying too much tax because these essential forms have been overlooked. Please help your employees by ensuring that either tax form is sent to payroll as soon as they start work. These rules also apply to re-hires, as it is not the case that their previous tax code can be carried forward.” 

Two helpful notes on Starter Checklist completion: 
  1. Employee statements A, B and C only relate to previous employment in the UK in this tax year (April to March). Employees working abroad immediately prior to the job here should tick A.

  2. The student/postgrad loan declaration is for UK loans only.

A new Starter Checklist was introduced for tax year 2019/20 (updated March 2020) which now includes Postgraduate student loans. This form MUST be used from now on and can be accessed online. Some students now have to repay both Student Loan plans and this is also only captured on the new form, so it is essential that you use these from now on. Please destroy all stocks of old Starter Checklists/P46s, as Payroll is still receiving them, but they don’t hold enough information.

Update from the HR Analytics Team

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Report name  Action required  Required for
HRINFO01 Data Quality Validation 2019-20 

Clear validation errors for all employee appointments active for any period from 1 August 2019. 

The HR Analytics Team will follow up all instances of missing or incorrect NHS Contract Details UDF and Clinical Specialties UDF, so please avoid being contacted by clearing them before the deadline. These are required for the Medical Schools Council Survey and HESA.

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 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 gives additional details about the report. 

HESA
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

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 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. 

Please note that unresolved HRINFO01 data issue in your department will delay the Athena Swan staff in post and leavers/turnover data release in Tableau for all users.

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

  • Maternity leave return and longevity information (4 years of data available for the academic years 2015/16 to 2018/19)
  • Ordinary paternity leave uptake (5 years of data on ordinary paternity leave uptake for the years 2015/16 to 2019/20)
  • Shared parental leave uptake (5 years of data on shared parental leave uptake available from the academic years 2015/16 to 2019/20)

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.

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.

This year’s HESA Staff return has identified over 450 starters/returners in 2019-20 with missing previous employment data. As a result the team wish to remind users of the following:

For HESA reporting purposes we need to have a record showing what they were doing immediately prior to joining the University (including the Temporary Staffing Service). This is relevant to current and leaver records.

Note – Previous Employment:

  1. Includes all unpaid and paid activities, e.g. being retired, unemployed, a student, in paid employment etc
  2. Relates to activity PRIOR to joining or re-joining the University

Action:

To update the ‘immediately previous employment’ record on follow the guidance steps below:

  1. Check the ‘New Starter Data Collection Form’
  2. Check the CV
  3. Ask the individual for clarification on what they were doing immediately prior to joining the University.

Guidance can be found at:
Immediately previous employment
Previous employment hints and tips (new)

This month's deadlines

Please also refer to the October 2020 payroll cycle diagram.pdf.

DATE(S)  DEADLINE EXPLANATION 
Tues 22 Sept - 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.
Weds 23 to Thurs 24 Sept No user input Users cannot enter data into the Personnel module or use menu options under "Core|Personnel>Maintenance".
Tues 6 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.
Weds 7 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.
Weds 7 Oct Support requests for Oct 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.

Fri 9 Oct - 5pm

Oct 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.
Thurs 22 Oct Oct 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.

NB Staff Request deadlines will be confirmed in the CoreHR Upgrade project newsletter circulated w/c 21 September 2020.