September HRIS Bulletin

News and reminders

Data Quality

Projects Update

New and updated documents

HRIS User Support

This Month's Deadlines

News and reminders

Additional day of “no user input” in October

We have made provisional plans to extend October’s “no user input” period by one day. The full no-input period is expected to run from Saturday 22nd through to and including Wednesday 26th October. We have updated the October Payroll Cycle Diagram to reflect this. This additional time will be necessary to allow for the implementation of the pay uplift if approved. We will provide confirmation of these arrangements to all users by e-mail as soon as possible.

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 2016 they must have been in their current role since at least 1 Jul 2016.
  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. This means that any salary requests awaiting approval will not be picked up by the program, including any requests awaiting approval by Payroll.  It is essential therefore that you ensure that those individuals due an increment on 1 October have the correct salary approved as at 23:59 on 30 September (i.e. the day before the new salary row is created). You should also ensure that any salary lines with an effective date after 1 October 2016 have been set at the scale point the employee would be on following the automatic increment, as the process will not increase the salary for any future dated salary lines. The ‘Staff in Post’ report (‘full data set’ tab) will show the current salary for staff at the point the report is run and you can also use the ‘Monthly Personnel Changes’ report to check for any future dated salary changes and also to check the approval status for salary requests.

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

Planned start date on staff request – follow QRG guidance

Please ensure you follow the guidance in QRG RQ1 on how to complete the Planned Start Date field on the Staff Request form. Always enter today’s date or an earlier specific date if applicable (e.g. regrading). We are aware that many academic vacancies could have a planned start date of several months or even years in the future. However, entering future start dates can cause delays with the automatic email notifications. You will still be able to appoint from any date after the planned start date.

Information Security

Keeping your confidential documents secure

The University's Information Security Team are producing a series of tips on keeping confidential data secure and have asked our help to disseminate these as widely as possible to users of the University's key information systems. The full set of guidelines can be found on the Information Security website, with the latest key messages being:

Information security is not just an IT issue and all staff have a part to play in protecting University information. Making a few changes and being aware can make a big difference.

1.  Keeping documents secure

  • Keep a clear desk and secure confidential documents when out of the office
  • Use confidential bins for confidential paper waste

2.  Encrypt confidential documents before sending

Anyone sending confidential documents by email without encrypting them first is asking for trouble because documents can be:

  • read if someone gets access to your email account (for example, through phishing);
  • sent accidentally to the wrong people;
  • forwarded to anyone without your knowledge; or
  • intercepted en-route to the recipient by criminal hackers.

If sending confidential documents via email, encryption ensures you keep your valuable data safe. Visit the Information Security website for simple instructions and step-by-step videos on using encryption functionality that is built in to common applications (such as Microsoft Office and Nuance Power PDF). Don’t forget that your encrypted document is only as strong as the password you use to protect it! And remember to share the password with the recipient via other means than email.

3.  Use encrypted memory sticks.

USB devices are great for holding and sharing large amounts of data but can be easily lost or stolen. Encrypted memory sticks are readily available however so don’t get caught out if you are using them for confidential information. You can pick one up from the Online Shop.

For further information, visit the Information Security website or contact: infosec@it.ox.ac.uk.

 

HMRC warning of fraudulent telephone calls

The Finance team have asked us to include the message below in this month’s bulletin.  It has also been included in the monthly Finance Bulletin, which goes to all finance administrators and officers across the University. 

“HMRC is aware that some employees have received telephone calls claiming to be from them, requesting personal information in order to receive a tax refund, or to demand money for an unpaid tax bill.

There is also another telephone scam where a recorded message is left, allegedly from HMRC, stating that HMRC are bringing a lawsuit against the individual and is going to sue them. The recipient is asked to phone 0161 8508494 and press “1” to speak to the officer dealing with the case. Please do not reply to the message.

HMRC takes security very seriously but you need to be alert. If you cannot verify the identity of the person making the call you should not disclose your personal details. You should report this to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2050. Please note this number will be charged at your normal network rate, and lines are open Monday to Friday 09:00 – 18:00. “

Data Quality

New HESA year and report improvements to HRINFO01_Data quality validation report

A new version of the report has been released: HRINFO01_Data quality validation 2016-17. Run it every month from 1 Aug 2016 and incorporate into BAU processes.

The 2016-17 report has been enhanced to include:

  • More validation of FTE, Hours and FTE Hours fields (see item below)
  • A column with instructions on how to make appointment changes
  • Amber ‘advisory’ messages
  • Research Nurse staff classification checks
  • Grade 5 roles assigned to sub-category AP or AR checks
  • Marie Curie Fellows and Marie Curie Researchers staff classification checks
  • Checks on job titles and job text fields
  • Functionality to run report for selected departments or employees

You may notice an increase in the number of warning messages as a result of these changes. The report flags instances where data deviates from what is outlined in the quick reference guides (red error messages) and cases where data do not conform to expected norms for selected appointments but are not necessarily wrong (amber warnings – we invite you to review and contact us if these do not seem accurate for the appointment).

The HR Information Team website provides guidance on entering the red data items highlighted in the report. If you have any new queries please contact hris.dataquality@admin.ox.ac.uk

Missing hours, FTE hours and FTE data on appointments

The latest version of Discoverer report HRINFO01 now includes checks for missing or mismatched hours, FTE hours and FTE, and has highlighted a significant amount of missing data in these areas. Find below a reminder of what you should enter in these fields.

Hours

  • This field cannot be blank.
  • For fixed term and permanent appointments, enter the actual weekly hours worked by the employee in this field.
  • For term-time only appointments, enter the number of hours the person works per week during term time in this field (Payroll will adjust the multiplier to ensure that the individual is paid according to their contractual agreement).
  • For variable hours, casual worker or teacher, non-employee and agency worker appointments the hours field should be set to zero (0).

FTE hours

This field cannot be blank.

  • For fixed term, permanent and variable hours appointments, enter the weekly contractual hours for the grade in this field; 36.5 for grades 1 to 5 and 37.5 for grades 6 and above and zero (0) for casual workers/teachers, non-employees, variable hours appointments, and agency workers.

FTE

This field cannot be blank.

  • The FTE is calculated automatically once the hours and FTE hours are entered and should reflect the actual hours worked as a proportion of the FTE hours, expressed as a decimal, e.g. Actual hours = 30, FTE hours = 37.5, FTE = .80.

Weeks

Only required for term-time employees paid the same amount each month.

  • Enter the number of weeks the employee works per year inclusive of holiday entitlement. E.g. employee works 38 weeks per year and is entitled to 4 weeks holiday = enter 42 weeks.

Please refer to the relevant QRG when processing appointments to ensure that you are entering the correct details into all fields.

Athena SWAN staff data

Keep an eye on the Athena Swan staff data webpages for information about updates to the Tableau dataset. In order to provide you with 2015-16 data as quickly as possible we are adding data to Tableau in batches as soon as it is ready (e.g. maternity data, followed by staff in post, etc., not in batches by department). Email any queries to athena.staffdata@admin.ox.ac.uk.

HESA queries – Thank you

In order to complete the HESA staff return for 2015-16 the HR Information Team have been sending out a number of individual queries about Research Assistants status, source of funding, staff classifications, and several other items. The team would like to thank everyone who has responded promptly to these requests at this busy time. Thanks everyone for running their HRINFO01 data quality report – we have seen a noticeable reduction in anomalies this year and appreciate your continued support.

Projects Update

Improving the casual payments process – Phase 1

Work to implement the recommendations to improve the casual payments process is progressing well. Based on an analysis of volumes of casual workers and payments, and responses to our July Bulletin item, we have allocated a number of departments to “Phase 1” of the rollout of the new process. From 1 November, Phase 1 departments will:

  1. Create casual worker records on CoreHR for any new casual workers/teachers (including adding the right to work details)
  2. Submit payment information electronically to Payroll using a standard spreadsheet

We have contacted all Phase 1 departments to advise them of the changes and invite them to a briefing session in early October. If you have not yet been contacted but are interested in adopting the new process from November, please e-mail HRIS@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Departments in Phase 2, which includes all Data Services users and UAS departments, will adopt the new process in early 2017. We will be in touch with these departments later this year.

For more information about the changes to the casual payment process, including the benefits of the new process, timescales and dates for the briefing sessions, please visit our project webpage.

New and updated documents

Updated apprenticeship agreement template

The Apprenticeship Agreement template has been updated to incorporate the cover letter, which explains that the apprenticeship is a fixed-term appointment. The opening paragraph within the actual Apprenticeship Agreement template has been slightly amended to avoid repetition of text (which is already included in the cover letter). The new template is available to generate from CorePersonnel.

HRIS User Support

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: October Payroll

Please also refer to the October 2016 Payroll Cycle Diagram (14kb)

DATE(S) DEADLINEEXPLANATION 
Thursday 22 September - 6pm 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 September's payroll run.
Friday 23 to Monday 26 September No user input Two clear working days are required during which users cannot enter data into the personnel module, to enable the payroll to be run (all other modules are unaffected).
Monday 3 October Staff Request Deadline For Staff Requests which do not require grading, any requests received by this deadline will be processed by midday on Thursday 6 October. 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).
Wednesday 5 October Casual Payments Deadline  Details of casual payments must be received by this deadline in order to be included in this month's payroll run.
Thursday 6 October 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.
Thursday 6 October Support Requests for October 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.
Monday 10 October - 6pm October 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.
Friday 21 October October 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.