December 2014 HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

How to...?

Projects Update

Data Quality

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines

News and reminders

Fix for incorrect costing of percentage allowances

As detailed on our “known issues” page, for some time now the system has been incorrectly costing percentage allowances to the department’s default cost centre recorded on the appointment, even where a valid code has been entered on the allowance.  The workaround for this issue has involved Finance staff journaling the costings to the correct coding through Oracle Financials.

We are pleased to report that a fix provided by CoreHR has now been fully tested and will be put into the Live system on 19 December.  Consequently, with effect from January’s payroll, all percentage allowances will be costed to the code(s) entered against the allowance where a valid code exists.  If no code exists against the allowance, it will be costed to the details held in the cost allocations on the appointment.  If neither exists, the allowance(s) will continue to be charged to the default appointment cost centre.

To ensure the full benefits of implementing this fix are achieved, we would encourage you to use the Staff in Post report to check that all costings for percentage allowances in your department are correct.  Percentage allowances will be detailed on the third tab of the report - “Full data set with allowances” in the column entitled “Allowance Percentage”. You will need to export this tab to Excel and filter those records that have a positive entry in this column.  If any costing details need to be updated, these must be completed by January’s supplementary deadline, on Thursday 22 January, in order to be effective for January payroll.

Printing casual payroll forms – please don’t double-side

When printing casual payroll forms for submission to the Casual Payroll team, please ensure that you print each form as two single pages and submit both pages to the Casual Payroll team for processing.  This is because the second page containing the right to work information is passed to the Staff Immigration Team for review. Please also ensure you work only with the new forms.

Immigration and Right to Work report now available

Following consultation with the Reports Review Group and the Staff Immigration Team, the report PERDEP41 (formerly called “Work Permits”) has now been revised and renamed “PERDEP41_Immigration and Right to Work”.

The report includes three tabs, one to highlight visa end dates within a date range, one to identify early leavers, and a new tab to show the current right to work data for all individuals held on the UDF in CoreHR.  The report is now available in the list of reports in Discoverer for all users with CorePersonnel access.

An updated report description gives further details on the content and purpose of the report, which has been designed to support you in ensuring that you manage all right to work and immigration processes in your department in line with University requirements.

University card process – missing e-mail and SSO

We have identified an issue with the process for requesting the University card, which can result in e-mail addresses and single sign on details not being populated as expected in CoreHR.

The university card system receives data on new starters from CoreHR on a nightly basis. When the University Card Office receives a card application form from a department, the process requires them to “match” this form with a record in the card system.  If the employee has not yet been appointed in CorePersonnel, they will be unable to match the record.  They will also have difficulties matching the record if one or more of the following identifiers is not present or correct in Core: first name, surname, DOB, and middle name(s) where appropriate.

Failure to match the form to the Core record does not affect the production of the card itself but results in the employee’s e-mail address and single sign (SSO) details not being populated in the Contacts area of the CorePersonnel record.

To avoid this issue, wherever possible please appoint the employee in CorePersonnel before sending off the card application form, ensuring that you enter all personal data correctly.  If you generate the card form from Core this will force you to appoint first and ensure the process works as expected.

In the meantime, we have identified that there are a number of Core records that are missing e-mail and SSO details.  We are currently looking at options to rectify this and will update you early next year.

Reward and recognition scheme for 2014/15

The Personnel Committee has approved the formal launch of the Awards for Excellence Scheme for 2014/15.  No major changes have been made to the scheme since last year, however the forms and guidance have been updated and additional FAQs provided.  These are available now on the Reward section of the Personnel Services website.  The 2014/15 review period is January to December 2014.

We are currently testing the existing process for recording and monitoring awards in CoreHR, to ensure the process can cater for multiple records over an historical period.  We will be concluding our testing and releasing an updated version of the QRG and a revised monitoring report early in the new year.

Updated e-Recruitment Private Questions report description

We have updated the description of the Private Questions report to clarify the process recruitment administrators should follow.  The main area that has been clarified relates to when the report should be run.  The report MUST be run as part of every recruitment exercise, and we recommend that it is run after the shortlisting has taken place but before the interviews are conducted.

The report will output the answers (if any) for "private" questions on the application form. "Private" questions are not included in the PDF application pack, because either they are irrelevant to the selection decision or it would be inappropriate for the panel to be influenced by these details at this stage.  "Private" questions include those relating to the applicant's University connections, details of unspent criminal convictions, disciplinary record, interview availability and how applicants heard about the vacancy.

If, as a result of running the report, any issues are identified, these should be flagged to the Panel Chair who will then have the opportunity to follow up the concern in the interview and / or take advice from their HR Business Partner.

Updated pre-screening health questionnaire

The new pre-employment health questionnaire process has now been operating for four months.  The general feedback from the University Occupational Health Service (UOHS) is that the new system is working well and is helping to speed up the process of pre-employment health screening in most cases.  The UOHS are keen to ensure that the process is as efficient as it can be and, in light of this, the existing pre-employment health questionnaire has been revised with some improvements and corrections. Please download the revised version from the Personnel Services website, here and ensure it has 'December 2014' in the footer.  You should save it in your C/:Coreapps folder with the same name as the existing version (i.e. overwrite the existing version).  A non-Core version of the pre-employment questionnaire is also available upon request from the Data Services team.

Please also make sure that you do not send out questionnaires that contain questions that are irrelevant to the duties of their new post.  When generating the questionnaire from Core, you must answer each of the additional medical questions carefully.  If using a non-Core version of the form, you must delete any irrelevant questions within Section 3.1 before sending the form to the prospective employee for completion.  The form should be emailed in all cases (unless this is not possible or the candidate has requested to receive a paper copy).

Please note that the UOHS will no longer be accepting old versions of the pre-employment health questionnaire (pre-July 2014) from January 2015.

How to...?

…avoid creating duplicate records

We have recently been made aware of a number of duplicate records in the system, requiring considerable corrective work to be undertaken by the support team and department.

It is essential when setting up a new starter or  processing a rehire or a transfer that you perform the necessary checks to establish if a record already exists within the system for that individual.

Please make sure you search by surname AND either NI number if available OR date of birth.  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 (a brief ‘how to’ video is included below).  This will 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. Click below to watch a brief video which shows how to search effectively (we suggest you use the maximise icon).

Get Flash to see this player, or download the video file.

Projects Update

HRIS v20 Project

The HRIS v20 Project was approved by IT PRAG and IT Committee at meetings held during November.  The aim of this project is to upgrade the underlying infrastructure for the system and the software to versions 11G and 20 respectively.  This project provides some immediate benefits to users whilst also representing a ‘catch up’ to the newest version of the software and an enabler for future projects. 

Immediate benefits available from this project:

  • software improvements identified by the HRIS user group - at least 12 of the highest priority items on the user enhancements list are already known to be addressed by the upgrade, including: improvements to management reporting; greater clarity for departments and payroll in the approval process for salaries and allowances; better support to the management of multiple appointments; rules-based continuous service dates; the ability to forward a url for a vacancy;  manage references; removal of the issues associated with ‘foreign characters’ (diacritics) in document production; improved look and feel to the system; single sign-on will enable users to access the different areas of CoreHR via a single route and is a necessary pre-requisite to employee self-service.  Further analysis during the course of the project will reveal how many more of the c.125 items on the enhancements list are resolved
  • provision of a platform for subsequent projects such as employee self-service, online academic recruitment and the expansion of the time and attendance (absence) module 
  • the provision of a secure infrastructure and
  • the provision of a standard infrastructure upon which disaster recovery plans can be built.

Preparations have been underway since Easter 2014 to ensure a robust plan for the HRIS v20 Project, which benefits from lessons learned from previous projects including the HRIS Programme.  The project will begin formally at the beginning of February 2015 and we expect this to complete in November.  More information will be made available in the new year on the dedicated projects page of the ‘using HRIS’ website to explain the project plan, scope and impact for users.

HESA 2013/14

The final HESA submission for 2013/14 has now been completed and signed off by the Vice Chancellor.  In addition to acting on lessons learned from previous HESA returns, the project has also laid a firm foundation for future HESA submissions in the processes, templates and approach that it has established. 

Temporary Staffing Service

The TSS Project has completed the tender stage and the preferred supplier, scoring higher in all the proposed criteria, was Eploy. This system will support the allocation of assignments to candidates and the time-sheeting process. Work is now underway to formalise the agreement with Eploy and begin implementation. 

Data Quality

Please enter costing information with care!

It has now been a year since we went live with release 12 of Oracle Financials. Unfortunately, we are still seeing a significant number of errors each month when the payroll files are uploaded to the general ledger/project files. These require manual intervention by the Finance team to allocate the costs to a valid code.

Below are examples of the most common errors and the corrective action needed

GL errorsCost Centre   Project CodeExplanation 
Invalid combination of GL cost centre and project codes AA00000000000 ABCDEF00.0001 Project code field should be blank OR Cost Centre field should contain
CCPROJ
Invalid entry in Project Code field using old R11 format AA00000000000 00/00000 Project code field should be blank
Invalid entry. Partial use of old R11 format AA0000   Cost Centre should be AA00000000000
Invalid use of old R11 format (GL) AA0000 00/00000 Cost Centre should be AA00000000000 and Project code field should be
blank
Invalid entry 0000000000000   Valid GL code required e.g. AA00000000000
Invalid entry in appointment
screen
CCPROJ   Cost centre should be dept. default GL code e.g. AA00000000000

 

Project errors Explanation 
Inactive Project Project code is inactive as it has expired or is due to expire.  Please ensure that you choose valid project codes from the drop down list.  Do not manually type the code into the Project Code field.
Task has passed end date Please ensure you are aware of the end dates of projects and tasks and that you update the cost allocations on employee records BEFORE the funding expires.
Project has passed end date See above
CCPROJ entered in Cost Centre field but no Project code in Project Code field You must enter the project code in the project code field.If the project code is not yet known, enter the deptartment default in the cost centre field or leave the cost allocations blank for the time being. The salary will be costed to the default cost centre on the appointment until the cost allocation screen has been updated.

If you have any queries about use of GL or project codes please speak to your finance administrator in the first instance.  

New appointments

In November the Data Services team sent out a data quality exercise validating several fields on all new appointments effective since 01 August 2014. The deadline for completion of this exercise is 17th December. Details can be found on the HR Information website.

New data quality checking report – 2015

We have been developing and piloting a new report that will check many Personnel module fields from a data quality perspective and which uses colour highlighting and helpful messages to help you make updates on Core. We plan to release this report to you in early 2015.

The report will replace some of the data quality exercises that you have been receiving by email from the Data Services team through 2014. You will receive information from us when the report is released with advice on how often to run the report and where to get support.

Benefits:

  • You can check Core Personnel data quality for your area of responsibility directly rather than waiting on lists provided by the centre
  • Colour highlighting and messages guide you straight to the anomalies
  • You can work through errors on an appointment-by-appointment basis rather than by error type – save time and look at a person’s file once to correct several anomalies
  • Avoid receiving a large volume of HESA-related queries around September-November

Although we anticipate that some further data quality exercises may still be required through 2015 we are attempting to build over time a report/suite of reports that you can run independently.

New HR Information team website

The HR Information team have launched a website! On our pages you will find information about us and new guidance including:

 – details of all Athena SWAN data including how to access it in Tableau.

HESA Staff Data – detailed instructions with screen shots and key documents to guide you through entering HESA data into Core Personnel. These pages will help you make updates on errors that you receive in data quality exercises and in the new data quality report (to be released in the New Year). New guidance covers:

  • Highest qualification held
  • Academic subjects taught and/or researched
  • Academic teaching qualifications
  • Immediately previous employment
  • Previous HEI employment
  • NHS contract and clinical specialties

HRIS User Support

Planned downtime - Friday 19 December

As per our e-mail communication to all HRIS users, this is to remind you that CoreHR will be unavailable on Friday 19 December from 1pm until 6pm.  Please ensure you are logged out of the system before this time.

This downtime is required to apply a fix to resolve the issue of incorrect costing of percentage allowances

All modules will be affected by the downtime, including the applicant interface in e-Recruitment.  A notice has been placed on the Jobs and Vacancies page alerting applicants.  If you have any vacancies closing on this day and need help generating shortlisting packs before the downtime starts please contact us.

Christmas Closure arrangements – reminder

The HRIS Support Centre will officially be closed from 5pm on Tuesday 23rd December 2014 until 8.30am on Friday 2 January 2015. On 2 January 2015 priority will be given to resolving queries raised by applicants over the Christmas period. Full details of our support arrangements (including applicant support) over the Christmas break can be found in the November bulletin.

Adverts - The final submission date for adverts, to be assured of publication on jobs.ac.uk before the holiday period, is 5pm on Wednesday 17 December. Adverts for placement on the University site only will be accepted up until 5pm on Friday 19 December.

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 

This Month's Deadlines

Deadlines for Personnel Users: January Payroll

Please also refer to the January 2015 Payroll Cycle Diagram (19kb)

DATE(S) DEADLINEEXPLANATION 
Tuesday 16 December - 6pm 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 December's payroll run.
Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 December No user input Two clear working days are required during which users cannot enter data, to enable the payroll to be run (reporting, e-Rec and Staff Requests are unaffected).
Monday 5 January Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Thursday 8 January. 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).
Monday 5 January Casual Payments Deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Wednesday 7 January 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.
Wednesday 7 January Support Requests for January 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.
Friday 9 January - 6pm January 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.
Thursday 22 January January 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.