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Sage HR Essentials: an employer's guide

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This article explains all you need to know about Sage HR Essentials, as a Sage Payroll user.


As part of your Sage Payroll UK subscription, you have free access to Sage HR Essentials.

What is Sage HR Essentials?

If you have set up Online Payslips in Sage Payroll, you may already use Sage HR today.

If not, Sage HR integrates seamlessly with Sage Payroll as part of your subscription.

It enables you to manage a number of HR tasks and provide an engaging experience for your employees.

With Sage HR Essentials, you can:

  • Allow your employees access to payslips and P60s online, including on a mobile app
  • View time off information to process payroll for statutory and company leave policies
  • Save emergency contacts for your employees
  • Securely store and track Right to Work documents

Any new employees you add in Sage Payroll or Sage HR Essentials automatically update the other software. This saves you from entering the same information twice. This is also true for any changes you make to employee records in either software.

As well as accessing their payslips and P60s online, your employees can use Sage HR Essentials to edit their personal details, which will automatically update Sage Payroll.

You can download the app from the following locations:

Download the Sage HR mobile app for Android (opens in a new tab)

Download the Sage HR mobile app for Apple (opens in a new tab)

 NOTE: You can still print and email payslips and P60s if you want to. 


Before you start

Before you set up your employee access to Sage HR Essentials you need to:

  • Log in to Sage Payroll as the user registered as the business owner. Only this user has access to the employer options for Sage HR Essentials
  • Enter a valid email address for each employee you invite. They receive an activation email as part of the process
  • Enter a valid National Insurance number for each employee you invite

Set up Sage HR Essentials

How you set up Sage HR Essentials depends on whether you already use Online Payslips.

I already use Online Payslips

As an existing Online Payslips user, Sage Payroll will automatically integrate with Sage HR Essentials.

To access Sage HR Essentials, from the Introducing Sage HR Essentials window on the Payroll Summary screen, select Go to Sage HR Essentials.

Alternatively, from the top toolbar, select Payroll, then from the Switch Product drop-down menu, select HR.

I do not use Online Payslips

You need to activate Sage HR Essentials before you can use it. From the Introducing Sage HR Essentials window on the Payroll Summary screen, select Activate Sage HR Essentials. Once activated, to access Sage HR Essentials, from the same window, select Go to Sage HR Essentials.

Invite your employees to Sage HR

To invite your employees to Sage HR:

  1. From the Employees tab, select Bulk Actions.
  2. Select the relevant employees, then Invite to Sage HR.
  3. Once the invitations are complete, you can select Close, or Go to Sage HR. The Pay Document Preference for each employee automatically updates to Online.

 NOTE: You can only invite employees to Sage HR if they have a unique email address in their employee record 

Your employee will receive an email invitation to Sage HR. This contains the link to access their employee portal.

The next time you complete your pay run, payslips are automatically published for those employees.

View online payslip data

After you have set up Sage HR Essentials, online payslips automatically generate when you complete a pay run.

To see your employee's online payslip and P60 information:

  1. From the Summary screen, select View Payslips.
  2. Select any of the employees in the list to see a history of their payslips and P60s.
  3. Select any of their payslips or P60s to see them in more detail.

You can also download the payslips and P60s, either all at once or individually.

Resend the employee email invite

To resend an employee invitation:

  • From the Employees tab select Pay Document Preferences, then Resend Invitation

The invitation email expires after 24 hours.

Change an employee’s email address

To change an employee's email address:

  1. Log into Sage Payroll as a user with administrator access. 
  2. From the employee record, Employee Details tab, select Change email address.
  3. Enter the new email address, then select Save changes, and OK.
  4. Save the employee record.

Your employee will receive an invitation to Sage HR at their new email address. They can no longer access Sage HR with their old email address.

Remove access for an employee

If an employee leaves the business and you no longer want them to have access to Sage HR:

  • From the employee record, Pay Document Preferences tab, select Remove Access

Payslip corrections

If you make a correction before you publish online payslips, the corrected payslip is automatically published as normal.

If the publish date has passed, when you finish making the correction, republish any payslips that have changed.

To do this, from the Completed Pay Run screen, select Publish Payslips.

This uploads the corrected payslips and overwrites the existing ones.

What your employee sees

After inviting your employees, they receive an invitation email to Sage HR. This contains the link to access their employee portal.

Once your employee has logged in, the Dashboard view opens in Sage HR Essentials.

With Sage HR Essentials, your employees can:

  • View and download their payslips and P60s. Your employee receives an email each time a new payslip is available
  • Add emergency contact details
  • Upload documents
  • View their calendar and request time off
  • Update their personal details. This will update their record in both Sage HR Essentials and Sage Payroll

If you need help with what your employees will see in Sage HR Essentials, read our Sage HR Essentials: what my employees will see article.

Fair usage policy

Your Sage Payroll support subscription includes the following usage limits.

The limit applies per company, and historical payslips are not included in the usage.

Employee tiersMaximum per month
Up to 15100
Up to 25200
Up to 50400
Up to 75600
Up to 100800

If you need more than the maximum usage per month, please contact our Sales team to move to the next employee tier. If you already use more than the fair usage limit, we’ll contact you to discuss your options.

Related Solutions

How to use Online Payslips: an employee's guide (opens in new tab).