Human Resources

ESS General FAQs

"What is Employee Self Service?"

Employee Self Service allows employees to view their own personal and job details and to request that information is updated where it is incorrect on the HR System. This means that the University will have more accurate and up to date details on record.

Staff will also be able to view their holiday balance and request holiday leave directly through the Employee Self Service system as well as entering self-certified sickness (less than 1 week). In addition staff will be able to view and download their current and historical payslips (from April 2010 only). Staff may also download their P60’s.

"What information will I see?"

There are five main categories of information that can be accessed:

  • Personal details
  • Employment
  • Payroll
  • Absence
  • Learning

For further information please on the type of information available, click here.

"What if I don’t have access to a computer?"

Everyone in the university is entitled to have a University of Portsmouth username and password which can be used on any office based PC or Mac connected to the university network.
If, however, you don’t have convenient access you may still keep your details up to date in the same way that you currently do.

"What if I have questions or problems with using Employee Self Service?"

If you experience problems logging into the HR Employee Self Service system please contact the IS Service Desk to report faults or request support:

If you have questions relating to the information shown in the Employee Self Service screens, please report these to

"How secure is the HR Self Service system?"

HR records, like all sensitive corporate database records, are held on secure University of Portsmouth servers which are invisible to the Internet, being protected by the campus and administrative system firewalls.

Access to the Employee Self Service records is via usernames and encrypted passwords which are also centrally stored on secure hardware servers. These passwords are not stored on the HR system.

"Can I access Employee Self Service from home?"

Yes, the majority of users will be able to access ‘Employee Self Service’ from home.  Simply navigate to the University of Portsmouth ‘Staff Essentials’ page and click on the ‘Employee Self Service’ link.

Most users will simply need to input their University username and password and will be taken straight to ‘Employee Self Service’. A few users may also see the ESS login page and they simply need to input their University username and password on that login page and will then be taken into ‘Employee Self Service’.

Any issues with accessing ‘Employee Self Service’ from home should be reported to 

User guides on how to configure your home computer are available from the Work Anywhere article.

"I would prefer not to have my HR details available via Employee Self Service. Is it possible to opt out?"

No. The Employee Self Service is an integral part of the improved HR services the University is implementing. It has inbuilt security and with prudent use by staff it will provide significant benefits.

"Can I ask the administrator in my department to book annual leave for me like I used to do?"

No. You must book all leave yourself through ESS. No-one else has the ability to book leave for you.

"Where can I find out who is the HR/Payroll champion for my business area?"

There is a list of champions on the Finance Intranet Payroll page.

If you have questions relating to the information shown in the Self Service screens, please report this to