ESS: Frequently Asked Questions

Accessing ESS

How do I verify my UTORid and password?

To verify your UTORid and password, please visit the UTORid verification page.

What is my personnel number?

If you don’t know your personnel number, try these options:

What is a UTORid?

Please visit the UTORid Account Management page for more information.

I don’t have a UTORid. What should I do?

If you don’t have a UTORid:

I forgot my UTORid. What should I do?

If you can’t remember your UTORid:

I don’t know my UTORid password. What should I do?

If you don’t know or forgot your UTORid password, you have several options to reset it:

Campus Help Desk:

Visit your campus help desk at St. George, UTM, or UTSC

ESS Help Desk:

Email the ESS help desk or phone 416.978.3772 to reset your password. If there is no answer, please leave a message with your personnel number, a brief explanation of the issue, and your contact information so that we can return your call. For privacy and security purposes, you will need to speak with a live person in order to have your password reset.

UTORid Account Recovery Service:

Use the UTORid Account Recovery Service. You must have registered for this service in advance to use it to reset your UTORid password.

Once your password has been reset, please make sure to change your Temporary UTORid Password and register for UTORid Password Reset & Account Management.

What services are impacted when you reset your UTORid password?

ACORN, campus wireless, CISCO/Jabber Personal Desktop Videoconference Services, Employee Self-Service (ESS), library service and workstations, Microsoft Campus Agreement Downloads, RAISE (Research), the Learning Portal (Blackboard), UTAlert, UTmail+, UTORexchange andUTORmail

For more information, please check the list of U of T services that use UTORid.

Will my ESS access change if I get a different job or role at U of T?

No. Your UTORid, password and your security questions will remain the same.

I no longer work at U of T. Do I still have access to ESS?

Former U of T employees will be able to access ESS for a period of time after their department date. Please contact your business officer or HR Divisional Office for more information.

Question-based Authentication (QBA)

What does ‘Initialize / Change Your Security Questions’ mean?

This is a two-step process, which requires (1) authentication and (2) selection of personal security questions for future logins.

Step One

The authentication process requires employees to provide three (3) pieces of information:

  1. Last four (4) digits of your social insurance number (SIN)
  2. Date of birth
  3. Personnel number

Step Two

The next step involves selecting a security question from the drop down list. Try to choose questions that only you would know the answer to.

What is question-based authentication?

Question-based authentication requires all users to answer one of the three security questions that were preselected by the user when they first logged into the ESS system. Employees will be required to answer one of their preselected questions every time they log in to ESS.

Are the answers to the security questions case-sensitive?

No, the answers are not case sensitive.

I’m temporarily locked out in the ‘Initialize / Change Your Security Questions’ step of the log in process. What should I do?

If you are temporarily locked out of ESS, please wait five to 10 minutes and then try again.

I’m permanently locked out of ESS. Who do I contact?

Please email the ESS Help Desk or phone 416.978.3772. Please leave us a message with your personnel number, a brief explanation of the issue, and your contact information.

Pay Statements & Tax Slips

Am I eligible to see my pay statement?

To be eligible to access ESS, and the majority of its services, you must be actively employed by the University of Toronto (includes approved paid or unpaid leaves of absence). Former U of T employees will be able to access ESS for a period of time after their department date. Please contact your business officer or HR Divisional Office for more information.

How do I view my pay statement or tax slip?

To view your pay statement, log in to ESS and:

  1. Choose Pay and Benefits Information
  2. Select either Pay Statement or Tax Slip
  3. Then select View Your Information

I no longer have access to ESS due to a change in my employment status. How do I access my past pay statements?

Please contact your HR Divisional Office or contact U of T Central Payroll Services at

How far back can I view my pay statements or tax slips?

You can view your pay statements, T4s or T4A tax slips from as far back as 1998.

What should I do if I need help understanding my pay statement or if there is an error on my pay statement?

For help understanding your pay statement, please read the Your Pay Statement webpage.

If you believe an error has been made on your pay statement, please contact For immediate assistance, call the ESS Help Desk at 416.978.3772.

Personal Information

How do I update my banking information?

Depending on your employee group, you will be able to update your banking information. Please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to ESS
  2. Choose Personal Information
  3. Select Personal Profile
  4. Then, under Bank Information, select Update Your Information

To ensure that there is no delay in your next pay deposit, please update or submit your bank account changes prior to the applicable payroll deadline. Your account number must be recorded accurately. Please enter your bank account information exactly as it appears on the void cheque.

May I add additional dependent(s) in ESS?

No, not at this this time. Please contact your business officer or HR Divisional Office to add additional dependents.

Can I add another email address?

You can only have one email address in ESS.

How many times can I change my permanent residence address?

You can change your address as often as you want. However, you can only have one current address and one future address at any given time.

Please note:

What if my information on ESS is incorrect?

Please contact your business officer or HR Divisional Office.

Who do I contact if I need more details on my Employment letter?

Please contact your business officer or HR Divisional Office

Pension & Benefits

How do I view my pension statements?

Depending on your employee groups, you may be able to view your pension statements.

To view these statements, please log in to ESS and:

  1. Choose Pay and Benefits Information
  2. Select Pension Statement
  3. Then select View your Information

If you need assistance, please contact the Benefits Help Line at

If you would prefer to receive a printed copy of your statement, please contact:

University of Toronto Pension Services
Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: 416.226.8278
Toll Free: 1.888.852.2559

How do I view my benefits information?

If you are an appointed employee who participates in one of U of T’s benefit plans, you can view your benefits enrolment and deduction information by doing the following:

  1. Choose Pay and Benefits Information
  2. Select Benefits
  3. From here, choose Benefits Participation Overview
  4. Then select View Your Information

How do I update my Green Shield information?

At this time, you cannot update your Green Shield information through ESS.

To update your personal information or coverage for Green Shield, please fill out the Green Shield Enrolment Change form. The completed form should be sent to your HR Divisional Office.

Vacation Information

How do I see my vacation balance?

To view your vacation balance, log in to ESS and:

  1. Go to Vacation Information
  2. Choose Vacation Tracker
  3. Then select View your Information

Please note: this option is only available for some employee groups.

Up to how many months in advance can I project my vacation balance?

You can project your vacation balance up to 12 months in advance in ESS.

Please note: this option is only available for some employee groups.

Technical Issues

I’m encountering error messages when I try to log in to ESS.

If you are having issues logging in to ESS, try clearing your browser’s cookies and history and restart your computer. Should the issues persist, please contact the ESS Help Desk.

I got an error message: ‘Could not acquire employee lock. Please try again.’

If you receive the error message above, try logging in again after five to 10 minutes.

Or, contact the ESS Support Help Desk at 416.978.3772. If we do not answer, please leave us a message with your personnel number, a brief explanation of the issue, and your contact information so we can return your call.

The text is too small on my ESS page. How do I make it bigger?

  • To zoom in: Press the control key and the plus sign at the same time (Ctrl +)
  • To zoom out: Press the control key and the minus sign at the same time (Ctrl -)

Or, press and hold the control key while using the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out.

To return to default settings, press the control key and the number 0 at the same time (Ctrl 0).

Why is there a timer on my ESS page?

For security purposes, the administrative web services portal will automatically log you out when the time reaches 00:00:00.

Why do I have to re-answer my security questions periodically, while logged in to ESS?

For security purposes, your access to the ESS page is temporarily revoked if there is no activity on the page after some time. In order to regain access, you will be asked to answer one of your pre-selected security questions.

I want to log out but can’t find my log off button. Where is it?

To log out of ESS, click the Log Off button in the top right corner of the ESS window. If you are having trouble finding it, try scrolling right using the scroll bar at the bottom of your web browser window or zoom out by pressing the control button and the minus sign at the same time (Ctrl -).

A pop-up blocker message appears. How do I disable my pop-up blocker?

To access many options in ESS, your pop-up blocker must be disabled.

To enable pop-ups when using ESS:

In both Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox, you will see a pop-up blocker message at the top of your screen if a pop-up has been blocked. In Chrome, the pop-up blocker icon appears with a red ‘X,’ immediately to the left of the bookmarks icon (yellow star). In Safari, there is no message when a pop-up is blocked.

  1. Choose the Options button (IE and Firefox) or blocker icon (Chrome) in the pop-up blocker message
  2. Select Always allow pop ups from this site

To disable pop-ups:

Internet Explorer:

  1. Select the gear icon (top right) and choose Internet Options
  2. Select Privacy
  3. Then uncheck Turn On Pop-up Blocker


  1. Choose the icon with three lines (top right) and select Options  (or Preferences for Apple users)
  2. Select Content
  3. then uncheck Block pop-up windows

Chrome (PC users):

  1. Select the icon with three lines (top right)
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Then select Show Advanced Settings
  4. Choose Network – Change Proxy settings
  5. Select Privacy
  6. Uncheck Turn On Pop-up Blocker

Chrome (Mac users):

  1. Select Privacy
  2. Choose Content Settings
  3. Then set your options under the Pop-ups heading


  1. Choose Preferences
  2. Select Security
  3. Uncheck Block Pop-up Windows (if it’s checked).