Abandonment Rate: Refers to the number of recruitment applications that have been started but have yet to be completed. 

Absenteeism Policy: A company’s policy regarding employees’ absence at work as well as the company’s expectations for overall attendance. Such a policy will also include rules relating to planned and unplanned leave and disciplinary measures for absenteeism. 

Annual Leave Entitlement: Also known as holiday entitlement, is the minimum number of days leave owed to an employee. Depending on your annual leave policy, this leave will accumulate during an employee’s tenure and be paid out should their employment come to an end. 

Appraisal: A procedure carried out by management in order to provide employees with feedback on their work performance. 

Apprenticeships: An apprenticeship is a way for students to learn a skill while working. During an apprenticeship, the apprentice will receive an employment and learning contract, and at the end of the apprenticeship, the learner will receive their degree. 

Attrition: Is the process of reducing the size of a company’s workforce where no new employees are hired after previous ones have (voluntarily or involuntarily) left their positions. 


Back Pay: This is money paid to an employee for work rendering and not compensated for during a previous pay cycle. 

Background Screening: These are steps taken by an employer to vet potential job candidates. It can include verifying credentials, conducting criminal history checks, drug testing and obtaining employment references. 

Balanced Scorecard: Is a planning and management tool that was developed in the early 1990s by Dr David Norton and Dr Robert Kaplan. It’s used to measure performance in four areas of a business, namely, its internal processes, customer knowledge, financial performance, and growth and learning. 

Behavioural competency: A type of evaluation conducted by employers to determine the behavioural traits of an employee, such as people skills, managerial skills and achievement skills. The results of such an evaluation can often be used in deciding whether an employee will be well-suited to a particular position within the company. 

Benchmarking: A method of measuring the performance of a team or organisation against previously proposed objectives. Benchmarking can also be used to evaluate a company’s performance against its competitors. 

Bereavement Leave: Leave that employees are entitled to take in the event that a dependant passes away. There is no stipulation as to the minimum amount of time allowed; however, it should be reasonable. 

Broadbanding: This is a type of compensation structure that focuses on employees’ skill development, duties and performance rather than their hierarchical position within the company. Thus, employees are financially rewarded more so for their skills development and overall growth. 

Bumping: The practice of allowing more senior employees (whose position is to be eliminated) the opportunity to take on the role of another, less senior employee within the organisation. 


Change Management: An approach to managing employees when there is a transition within the workplace. This allows organisations to monitor positive and negative changes experienced in morale, output, stakeholders or other factors. 

Compensation: This is a more holistic view of the rewards an employee receives for their time and effort. In addition to base pay, compensation looks at other aspects such as bonuses, share offerings, medical aid contributions and more. 

Conditions Of Employment: These are usually the duties, benefits and rules that come with a specific role or position. The conditions of employment are agreed upon by both employee and employer and can include factors such as sick leave, penalty rates, work hours, holiday entitlement, disciplinary policy and procedures, grievances process and compensation. 

Confidentiality Agreement: A legally binding agreement between an employer and employee that stops the employee from disclosing any confidential or sensitive propriety information with others. Companies use confidentiality agreements in order to protect their business and any critical information it may hold. 

Core Competencies: Refers to the essential qualifications, skills and knowledge needed for an employee to successfully fulfil a position. 

Cost-Per-Hire: This is the cost, in finances and resources, required to employ new staff members. Examples of costs include advertising, recruitment services, onboarding and training. 


Disciplinary Procedure: Refers to the steps taken by a business when dealing with internal issues such as breaches of contract or enterprise agreements. Thus, a disciplinary procedure provides all parties with a clear guideline of how the disciplinary process will play out. 

Discrimination: Refers to the unfair treatment of people based on personal traits such as race, sexuality, gender or disability. In the workplace, this can take place in various forms, such as workplace policies that unfairly disadvantage employees or managers discriminating against employees working under them. 

Diversity Training: Is a type of training that specialises in increasing awareness about diversity in the workforce. The aim of such training is to make employees more inclusive and accepting. 


Employee Assessments: These are tests given to potential employees to test their aptitude in several areas, such as their skills, strengths, personality traits and more. The results of these assessments are then used to determine which applicants would be the best fit for the position they are looking to fill. 

Employee Retention: Refers to the strategies and policies a business puts in place to keep productive, talented employees within the organisation. In doing this, a company will prevent staff from leaving, thereby reducing employee turnover. Employee retention strategies also help to boost productivity, engagement and revenue. 

Exit Interview: This is a final meeting held between management and an employee who is leaving the company. 


Flexible Working Arrangements: These are alternative arrangements or schedules that differ from the traditional work day or week. This can be done by moving work hours earlier or later in the day, allowing employees to work from home or other remote locations or allowing for flexi-time. 

Freedom Of Association: Refers to the rights held by employees to associate (or to dissociate) with any group. With regards to HR, freedom of association is commonly linked to an employee’s right to join any union or organisation and take collective action in the pursuit of that group’s interests. 

Full-time Equivalent: This term describes a role or position where the workload would be equivalent to that of a full-time employee (35 hours or more a week). A full-time equivalent position can be filled by one or several people. 


Gender Pay Gap: This refers to the pay difference typically observed between men and women in similar positions, with the men earning the higher salary or wage. 

Grievance: A grievance is a complaint brought forward by an employee regarding issues in the workplace, such as violations of company policy or employment contracts, dissatisfaction with management or other work-related problems. 

Gross Misconduct: A term describing actions or behaviours that are extremely serious and justifies the immediate dismissal or termination of an employment contract. In such cases, the business would normally disregard the normal notice period. Examples of gross misconduct include theft, damage to property and physical violence. 


Harassment: Is defined as improper behaviour by one employee toward another. Such conduct would be considered threatening, intimidating or cause discomfort for the victim. 

Hawthorne Effect: This refers to a phenomenon whereby employees change their behaviour when they know they are being observed. This effect came to light during an experiment conducted by Elton Mayo, where he hoped to measure the impact a work environment has on employee productivity. 

HR Audit: These are formal processes used to measure the performance of human resource policies within an organisation. HR audits should be conducted on a regular basis, either quarterly or annually. 


Incentive Pay: A form of remuneration used to motivate employees to perform above expectations. 

Incidence Rate: This measures the number of incidents, injuries, and illnesses that occur across an organisation, as well as the number of work days lost per hundred employees. 


Judicial Assessment: Is the process an employment judge follows when looking at a submitted claim. Through the process, he will provide an unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the submitted claim. 


Key Performance Indicators: Also known as KPIs, these are metrics used by a business to measure the success of their employees. Examples of KPIs include revenue growth, sales quotas, and number of units produced. 

KSAs: This acronym stands for knowledge, skills, and abilities. It’s usually used to refer to the core competencies an applicant would need to possess to fulfil a certain position. 


Last In First Out (LIFO): This is a method used in redundancy situations where an employer must select who will need to be dismissed. With LIFO, the employees with the shortest amount of service will be dismissed. However, it must be noted that employers risk indirect age discrimination with this method. 

Lay Off/Short Rime Working (LOST): When a business has a reduction in work, they can either temporarily lay off employees or reduce their working hours until business has returned to normal. 

Leave Management: Refers to managing employees’ requests for time off from work. Leave can be requested for various reasons, such as illness or holidays. 


MAT B1 Form: Also known as a maternity certificate, this is a form supplied by the government which verifies a woman’s pregnancy and the baby’s expected due date. This form allows a pregnant employee to claim Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance. 

Maternity Allowance: This is a payment given by the government when women take time maternity leave. It is only paid to women who do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay. 

Maternity Leave: This is the leave that pregnant women are entitled to in the UK, regardless of how long they have been working at an employer. Maternity leave is 52 weeks in length, which is split into 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks of additional maternity leave. 

Maternity Pay: Also known as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), this is the payment women receive while on maternity leave. It is paid for up to 39 weeks, the value of which can be broken down into two parts. For the first six weeks, an employee will be paid 90% of their earnings, after which they will be given a statutory rate or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is the lower amount) for the remaining 33 weeks. 

Mediation: The act of resolving internal issues in the workplace before they can escalate to a full grievance process. 


National Living Wage: Is defined as the minimum payment an employee or worker should receive for work rendered. The national living wage varies by age group and is determined by the government on an annual basis. 

NI Contributions: National Insurance contributions is the money taken from an employee’s earned income and paid to the government. These contributions help to build an employee’s right to certain state benefits such as State Pension, Attendance Allowance and Bereavement support payment. 

Notice Pay: Refers to the amount owed to an employee during their notice period, regardless of whether they work through their notice period, are placed on Garden Leave or are given Pay In Lieu of Notice by their employer. 

Notice Period: The period of time an employee will need to continue working for their employer after they have been dismissed, made redundant or served notice of their resignation. 


Offer Of Employment: This is when a company formally offers an individual a position within the business. An offer of employment is usually accompanied by an official letter stating the terms and conditions of the employment offer. 

Onboarding: This is the process of integrating a new employee into the business. This process can include training, inductions, taking employees through the payroll and more. 

Ordinary Adoption Leave: Refers to the leave employees can take when they have adopted a child. Employees are entitled to up to 52 weeks of Statutory Adoption leave, the first 26 weeks of which are deemed Ordinary Adoption Leave and the following 26 weeks as ‘Additional Adoption Leave.’ Employees can elect to take this leave starting on the day the child arrives or up to 14 days before the child’s arrival. 


Parental Bereavement Leave: As of April 6, 2020, employees are entitled to two weeks’ leave if their child, under the age of 18, dies or is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy. 

Part-time Worker: This is an employee who works less than a full-time worker (who typically works 35 hours or more per week). 

Paternity Leave: Refers to the one to two weeks of leave new fathers are entitled to after the birth of their child. 

Pay In Lieu Of Notice: When a contract of employment is terminated through resignation or dismissal, employers can elect to pay out the notice period to an employee in order to bring the termination date closer. This can only be done if the employer has the contractual right to do so. 


Qualifying Days: This is used in calculating an employee’s Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Qualifying days are the days usually worked by the employee. Regarding SSP, the first three days of an employee’s illness are considered qualifying days and do not entitle an employee to SSP. 

Qualifying Period: This is the minimum amount of time an employee needs to have worked for their employer in order to qualify for certain claims, such as unfair dismissal, at an Employment Tribunal. The qualifying period is two years in Great Britain and one year in Northern Ireland. 


Reasonable Adjustments: Refers to the changes that an organisation is required to make in order to remove or reduce any factors that can put a disabled employee at a disadvantage.  

Redundancy: This is a particular type of dismissal that occurs when an employer needs to reduce the size of its workforce. There are certain requirements and procedures that must be followed in order to ensure that the redundancy has been done fairly. 

Rest Periods: These are breaks taken between a worker’s or employee’s shift. Usually, these breaks last 11 hours in the UK, but they can be less. 

Retirement: When an employee has reached a certain age or level of financial stability, which allows them to stop working.  

Risk Assessment: This is the process of analysing a task or job in the workplace to identify any potential hazards, as well as implementing control measures to reduce this risk to an acceptable level. 


Service Provision Change: A situation which occurs during a TUPE transfer where services performed in-house become contracted out; a service carried out by a contractor on the client’s behalf is moved to another contractor; or where a service that was outsourced is now brought back in-house. 

Settlement Agreement: A legal agreement between employer and employee that serves to settle any claims that an employee has against their employer. This is often used when an employment contract has been terminated, but it can be used in other circumstances. 

Statutory Redundancy Pay: This is the pay an employee has the right to if they have worked for their employer for two or more years. Redundancy pay varies by age. 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): Is the payment owed to an employee when they have been booked off from work due to illness or a medical condition. SSP can last for up to 28 weeks. 

Suitable Alternative Employment: This is a job offered to an employee as an alternative to their current position. Employers must offer employees a suitable alternative employment position before they can make them redundant or terminate their contract due to poor health. 

Suspension: Refers to when an employee is prohibited from coming to work for a period of time. Suspensions often form part of a business’s disciplinary procedures. 


Termination Of Employment: This is when a contract of employment is ended, either by an employee (resignation) or by the employer (dismissal). 

Transfer Of Undertaking, Protection Of Employment (TUPE): Refers to a situation where an organisation, or a part of it, is transferred from one employer to another. TUPE regulations ensure that employees and their contracts remain intact in the event of such an occurrence. 

Tribunal Claim: A claim submitted by an employee against their employer. These claims can be submitted for reasons such as discrimination, unequal pay, incorrect deductions or unfair dismissal. 


Unauthorised deductions: When an employer deducts a sum from an employee’s pay that they were not allowed to deduct. 

Unfair dismissal: This occurs when an employee’s contract has been unfairly terminated by the employer.  


Variation Of Terms: Refers to when an employer wants to change the terms and conditions of an employee’s contract. Usually, an employer would first need to obtain consent, but there are some situations where such changes can be enforced. 

Vicarious Liability: This is when one party is held partly liable for the unlawful actions of a third party. In the workplace, there are some situations where an employer can be held partially responsible for actions taken by employees. 

Voluntary Redundancy: This occurs during a redundancy process, where an employee volunteers themselves to be made redundant by the employer. 


Warning: Is a method of communicating inadequate conduct, poor work performance or other issues within the workplace. These are often issues following a disciplinary or capability hearing. 

Working Time: The period of time which an employee spends in their employer’s control.  



Young Worker: Refers to anyone who has reached compulsory school leaving age but is still younger than 18. 


Zero-hours contract: This is a type of employment contract where the employer is not legally obligated to stipulate minimum working hours, and the employee isn’t required to accept a work offer. 

Zero-hours worker: Is defined as a worker who is on a zero-hour contract; therefore, they do not need to work for the employer unless they are offered work. In such circumstances, there is no mutual obligation between the employer and worker.