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  October 29, 2001

Employee Information Takes to the Web

UConn employees and student workers seeking information about their benefits, or payroll or personal information, will be able to access that and more online, beginning Nov. 5.

The move to offer more self-service information, accessible from an employee's home or office, is expected to drastically reduce the number of phone calls employees make to the University's human resources and payroll offices, allowing staff in the two departments to devote more time to providing direct advice and consultation, says Barbara Proulx, executive director of human resources.

"So much of our time is spent answering basic questions, on the phone and when people stop into our offices, that we too often have to put aside the more demanding, time-consuming tasks that are so vital to improving services," Proulx says.

Employees will receive information regarding the new service this week. The mailing will include a randomly generated Personal Identification Number (PIN) that can be changed, if desired, to a more easily memorized number.

The system will be accessible to all faculty and staff, graduate assistants, and student employees. Workers on special payroll will be added to the system in the near future.

For employees, the service offers a potpourri of information, including a choice of benefit plans, dependant coverage, and a link that allows staff to check pay stub information, from their first paycheck of the year through the most recent one. In addition, links are provided describing employee benefit plans, life insurance options, retirement plans and, for anyone planning to leave UConn, what paperwork will be needed in the weeks and months before departure.

There are links to employee contracts, and to the Social Security Administration and the state Comptroller's Office, as well as to every health care and dental care provider in the University's health insurance plans. There is even information on state holidays and on how to fill out timecards.

Initially, the files will be "read only," Proulx says, so employees wishing to change their personal or directory information, personal exemptions on tax forms, or benefits information will still be required to submit the proper paperwork. All the forms needed to make these and other changes will be online, however.

Eventually, Proulx says, the ability to change information online will also be available. That, however, must wait until state agencies in Hartford upgrade their systems, since most employee records require workers' signatures.

As a security measure, the system will lock out employees who give the wrong employee number or PIN three consecutive times. Service can be restored through a brief phone call to the UITS HELP Desk, where authenticity will be determined before reactivating the employee's access to the system.

The idea of putting the information online originated several years ago, Proulx says, and began in earnest in spring 1999, when a team began seeking vendors who could offer the right combination of software.

"This never would have happened without the cooperation of the people in all three offices - the UITS, human resources, and payroll," Proulx says. "It was a great, collaborative effort, and it's going to result in better service for UConn employees every day."

Richard Veilleux

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