Payroll Manager

Durham University

Payroll Manager (
Job Number:
Grade 7:  £37,099 – £44,263 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent  Full Time
Contract Duration: HR & OD
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: Hybrid
Closing Date
: 01-Nov-2023, 7:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University 
At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.   

Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University.  Further information about the University can be found here

The Role and Department 

Reporting to the Senior Payroll Manager of HROD the purpose of this role is to support the Human Resources Department in the effective delivery and management of the operational aspects of the University’s payroll function.  This role will be responsible for all activity relating to the delivery of monthly payrolls in respect of circa 6,000 employees.

Working under the Senior Payroll Manager (People and Pay Services), the role holder will lead and develop the department responsible for all payroll, processes, paying over 6,000 employees, workers, and students each month. They will assist with the management of the payroll administration functions of the department, ensuring the service delivers timely, accurate and compliant payments to employees and external stakeholders such as HMRC. The role holder will manage the variety of payments across several staffing groups including casual workers and those working overseas. They will also work collaboratively with stakeholders across the University to deliver a valued service that is responsive to the needs of staff.

The University operates a number of payrolls overseas.  It is the responsibility of this role to process in line with legislation changes and challenge individuals where compliance is not adhered to. 

The role has line management responsibility for People and Pay Services payroll team.

The post holder will also place customer service at the centre of the department activities and focus on ways of evaluating and improving standards.

Further information about the role and the responsibilities is at the bottom of this job description. 

Working at Durham  
A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:  
•    30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.   
•    •    We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled  into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS). 
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies. 
•    There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.  
•    Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme. 
•    On site nursery is available and access to holiday camps for children aged 5-16 throughout the year. 
•    Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers). 
•    The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community 
•    Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.  
•    A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.  
•    If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas. 


Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion 

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.   As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI. 
We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role. 

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification

When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role.  Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description.  Where a criteria has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.    
Your application should cover the following criteria: 

Essential Criteria


1.     Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics or a Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience.

2.     Experience and expertise in the development and delivery of administrative services.

3.     Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.   

4.     Experience of implementing policies and procedures. 

5.     Experience of supervising/managing a team and/or a line management qualification.



6.     Excellent spoken and written communication skills including the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.

7.     Strong digital competence across a range of digital devices and apps including digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, business systems.

8.     Committed to continuing professional development.

9.     Ability to plan and organise activities involving the service.

10.  Ability to solve problems and decide on and plan appropriate solutions.

11.  Ability to participate in networks to share and discuss good practice and exchange information.

12. Knowledge of PAYE and regulations.

13. Experience and understanding of payroll related compliance

14. Strong analytical skills and the ability to solve problems.

15. To be a team player, good communicator, work well under pressure and to tight deadlines 

16. Submit payments and returns to HMRC and other statistical returns.

17. Assist with internal and external audits.

Desirable Criteria

 1.      The candidate would ideally have knowledge of Oracle Fusion or a similar cloud-based Payroll system

 2.      Experience of working in an organisation that has multiple contract types and both hourly paid and salaried staff.

 3.      Holds a CIPP Payroll Management Diploma (or equivalent) and able to demonstrate continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition within a payroll arena.  

How to apply

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above.  Where there are desirable criteria we would also urge you to provide any relevant evidence.  Please don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.  

Submitting your application 

We prefer to receive applications online.  We will update you about your application at various points during the process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails 
What you are required to submit:
•    A CV 
•    A covering letter  or statement which shows examples of how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification  

Contact details 
If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, Samantha Gunn (Senior Payroll Manager) would be happy to speak to you.

Further information about the role

·     This role will report to the Senior Payroll Manager (People and Pay Services) and will work closely with the Senior Manager for People and Pay Services and with colleagues from the Finance.

·     The successful role holder will manage the team who assist in deliver the payroll. They will also required to establish a positive and working relationship with the Senior Manager of People and Pay Services who provides a business support function across the University.

·        Provide professional subject expertise.

·        To ensure all payments and returns to regulatory bodies and pension scheme providers are accurate, complete, and timely.

·        Manage and develop service and infrastructure across one or more teams.

·        To communicate regulatory and other changes to staff, where necessary liaising with HR and other areas of the University

·        For their direct report, provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews.

·        Be involved in the recruitment, induction, training, and development of new team members to the wider Payroll team.

·        Liaise and engage with key stakeholders and internal and external contractors to influence opinion, delivery and reputation of services.

·        Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments.

·        Delegate and coordinate work for the Payroll team to ensure continuity of service provision.

·        Reporting to the Senior Payroll Manager, ensure all activities, processes and transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards.

Typical Role Requirements  

Service Delivery/Development

·       Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.

·       Review and look for ways to improve systems and procedures that are relevant to your area of work in line with the University’s frameworks and Regulations.

·       Manage the delivery of payroll across the University to a high standard.

·       Provide the best possible service by continually reviewing what is required from employees and others who you work with and contribute to ideas and service improvements.

·       Work with your team to look for ways to improve processes.

Planning and Organisation

·       Manage the delivery of operational activities carried out by the payroll team.

·       Contribute to progressing the strategic and operational priorities of People and Pay Services.

·       Review data on the level of service provided by your area to recommend areas for future improvement.

Team Development

·       Manage and monitor the performance, workload and expected outcomes of the payroll team and take action to respond anything that impacts on the service level provided.

·       Ensure that your team can deliver the required services by devolving and delegating responsibilities to appropriate team members.

·       Carry out regular performance reviews to provide feedback on objectives and expectations and identify any development needs.

·       Ensure that your team continues to develop by coaching and mentoring team members and delivering any training needs.

·       Support the welfare and wellbeing of your team referring more complex issues to specialist services.

·       Act as line manager to Assistant Payroll Manager.



·       Provide advice and share guidance with your stakeholders to ensure that the University’s policies, procedures, and regulations are complied with.

·       Use your operational expertise to participate in business meetings, working groups and sub-committees.

·       Coordinate and oversee committees and other business meetings and deal with any related complaints.

·       Update policies and procedures in response to any internal or external changes.

·       Create positive working relationships, including internal and external networks, using your networks to increase your knowledge and skills and swap information with peers.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement Privacy Notices – Durham University  which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.  

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

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