CHRIS 21 enhancements for 2018

In November 2017, Shared Services SA successfully transitioned South Australia Police and TAFE SA employees to the CHRIS 21 payroll system.

Since the completion of this migration, the Payroll Reform team have been focussing on a planned upgrade of CHRIS 21, which includes the implementation of a number of enhancements that will provide benefit to agencies, employees and Shared Services SA.

There are now over 78,000 South Australian Government employees paid via CHRIS 21 each fortnight.

Here is a summary of the initiatives underway in 2018.

CHRIS 21 version upgrade

Testing is currently underway to upgrade CHRIS 21 to the latest version, with the expectation that the upgrade will be implemented prior to 30 June 2018.

Benefits associated with the version upgrade include the:

  • implementation of additional functionality, such as the whole-of-life employee number and a streamlined process for the transfer of employees between agencies
  • facilitation of access to the full range of additional modules available through CHRIS 21, such as HR Forms Automation and Time and Attendance that are not fully compatible with the current version
  • resolution of some deficiencies which are currently resulting in manual workarounds in Payroll Services, such as the automation of back-pay and termination calculations.

Two-factor authentication

A new security feature now available in HR21 is two-factor authentication. When employees perform specific transactions via HR21 such as a password reset or updating bank account details, a PIN code will be sent either via SMS or to a landline phone (via a recorded message). This code must then be entered into HR21 before the transaction can be processed. This is similar functionality to what many employees may experience when using online banking applications.

During the first communication to employees regarding two-factor authentication, Shared Services SA received feedback indicating that not all employees have access to a mobile phone. In collaboration with the CHRIS 21 provider, an additional option of entering a landline number has now been included.

Another communication will be issued to selective employees shortly, who are yet to enter a mobile phone number into HR21. This communication will also provide details of the landline option.

When this new functionality has been rolled out, employees will no longer have access to HR21 if they have not registered a mobile phone or landline number.

In addition to enhancing the security of employee personal details, two-factor authentication will enable around 15,000 public sector employees without a government email account to access HR21 using their private email address.

Enquiries about this change can be sent to

Automated bonafide and leave return reports

At the end of 2017, a new automated bonafide and leave return report solution was implemented within HR21 Self Service across SA Health. This new automated process replaced the manual printing and sign-off process and enables delegates to view and approve reports within HR21.

Further enhancements to the new bonafide process are currently being investigated to ensure it is ready to roll out across other agencies over the course of 2018.

Simplified staff transfers and whole-of-life identifier

Due to the volume of employee transfers within the South Australian Government, it is imperative to implement a more streamlined process for employee movements between agencies.

The simplified staff transfer process will:

  • enable employees to retain their employee number (unique whole-of-life identifier) throughout their employment in the public sector
  • provide the immediate transfer of leave entitlements when transferring between agencies
  • simplify the manual processing required for both agencies and Payroll Services when employee transfers occur.

This functionality will become available as part of the upgrade. A new transfer process will be progressively rolled out to all agencies during 2018 once the upgrade is implemented into production.

CHRIS 21 Service Desk decommissioned

As the last CHRIS 21 migration occurred in November 2017, the CHRIS 21 Service Desk has been decommissioned and is no longer available for enquiries.

Enquiries can be directed to Payroll Services or Systems Support with Training Materials and HR Smart Forms available from the Shared Services SA website.