Employee Self Service (ESS)

Frequently Asked Questions


Answer Employee Self Service (or ESS) is an on-line, web accessible view of your human resources and payroll information, including pay statements, T4 statements, and entitlement balances/usage details. It provides employee access to log absences, view/change absences, and apply for postings. Managers and Principals/VPs can view their department or school's budget information and daily absences.
Answer Electronic Pay Statements are electronic versions of the paper pay statements that were previously distributed. They are PDF format attachments sent to school district email accounts. They are sent by email at the same time the paper pay statements would have been printed (usually a day or two ahead of the pay deposit date). They are also loaded in Employee Self Service (ESS).
Answer No, a paper option is not being provided; however, employees receiving pay statements while on a leave of absence (i.e. a teacher on maternity leave) should contact Payroll to 604-595-6115 if they are unable to access their school district email account or ESS during the leave.
Answer The website is accessible from any web browser with an active internet connection. To access the ESS website, open a web browser, type in https://staff.surreyschools.ca.
Answer Log onto ESS (staff.surreyschools.ca) and click on My Info - Employee Info - Employee Statements. From the drop down box, choose Earning Statements and the year you wish to view, and click Submit. A list of your pay statements will appear.
Answer The ESS website has at least one full year of pay statements for online viewing.
Answer To safeguard privacy, pay statements are emailed only to school district email accounts. If you wish to forward your statements from Outlook to your home email address, you may do so.
Answer Your username and password for ESS are the same credentials you use to log into Outlook or a school district Windows computer. If you already successfully use those systems, nothing additional is required - you can go directly to Sign In.

For new employees, or if your password has been reset by IMS, to activate your ESS account:
  • From the Employee Self-Service (ESS) website click the Manage Account button
  • Click the Change button
  • Enter the following information on the “SD36 Password Change/Update screen” (see Figure 1 below):
    • Username: Enter your ESS username (from HR)
    • Old Password: Enter the initial ESS password provided
    • New Password: Enter the password you wish to use for your ESS password
    • Confirm New Password: Re-enter the password you wish to use for your ESS password
    Figure 1
  • Click OK
  • If your password is successfully changed the following screen will appear (see Figure 2)
  • Figure 2
  • If your password change is NOT successful you will receive an error describing why the password change did not take affect. Please try again
Answer This error could be returned for several different reasons:
  • You have a brand new account and you haven’t activated it yet. See How do I activate my ESS account? for details on activating your account.
  • The username you entered is incorrect. Check that you’ve spelled it correctly and included the underscore (_).
  • The password you entered is incorrect. Check that you don’t have your CAPS Lock key enabled, as passwords are case sensitive.
  • Your password expires every 90 days. If it has expired, you may receive this message. Please click the “Change Password” button and follow the instructions to change your password. Then try logging in again.
Answer Your computer does not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on it. Please contact your tech facilitator/tech contact.
Answer There are several points you can keep in mind to help protect your personal information:
  • Your new password must:
    • Be at least 6 characters long (note that longer passwords are more secure)
    • Contain at least one character from 2 of the following 3 sets:
      • English upper case characters (A…Z)
      • English lower case characters (a-z)
      • Numeric digits (0…9)
      • Symbols (!@#$%^&*,./|\[]{}_+-==)
    • Not contain any dictionary words (including backwards spelling)
    • Not contain any part of your full name (including backwards spelling)
    • Not be the same as your Username (Login ID)
  • Do not write your ID and/or your password down and post it near your computer.
  • Do not share your password with others.
  • Do not leave yourself logged onto a computer when you are no longer using it.
  • During any Internet session, web pages which you visit are stored on your hard drive as cached files. It is recommended that you delete these files from your hard drive after completing your ESS session by clearing your cache.
Answer Please contact Human Resources at 604-595-6150 to make corrections.
Answer Standard call logging procedures still apply for computer related problems.

For problems directly related to the use of ESS or electronic pay statements, contacts are as follows:
  • For problems accessing ESS or PDF pay statements, call the IMS Service Desk at 604-595-6000
  • Questions about pay statement information, call Payroll at 604-595-6115
  • Questions on demographic information, call Human Resources at 604-595-6150
Answer Cache is an area in the memory or hard drive of your computer where information on pages retrieved from the network may be stored. When you exit the browser application, memory cache is automatically emptied. If disk cache has been created, it is maintained.

To Clear Your Cache Instructions for Internet Explorer Users: (IE 8.0)
  1. Open the Internet Explorer browser.
  2. Select "Tools" from the pull-down menu.
  3. Under "Browsing history" select the Delete button (or press Ctrl+Shift+Delete).
  4. In the "Delete Browsing History" window, ensure "Delete Temporary Internet Files" is selected.
  5. Press the "Delete" button.
  6. When returned to the "Internet Options" window, click on "OK" to close.
Instructions for Safari (iPad) Users
  1. Select the "Settings" icon, normally located towards the middle of your iPad Home Screen.
  2. Your iPad Settings menu should now be displayed. Select the option labeled "Safari".
  3. Select the option labeled "Clear Cache".
  4. A confirmation message will now appear on your screen. Select "Clear".
  5. To terminate the process, select "Cancel".
Instructions for Safari (Mac OS X) Users
  1. Open the Safari browser.
  2. Click the Safari menu.
  3. Select "Empty Cache".
  4. A confirmation will now appear on your screen. Select "Empty".

For users of other browsers, please refer to your browser's documentation on memory/disk caching.