Confused by some of the jargon used by employment lawyers or HR departments? Use our helpful A to Z of employment law to understand your position:
A capped sum used as the basis for calculating weekly earnings for the purposes of several statutory rights.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service - an independent organisation that seeks to promote improvement in industrial relations. ACAS publishes a Code of Practice and will mediate employment disputes.
Parents of adopted children are entitled to 52 weeks' leave, subject to eligibility.
Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s age.
Someone who registers with an employment agency and undertakes work for the agency’s clients.
Someone who is employed at a junior level under one of a number of specified government–recognised apprenticeship schemes for the primary purpose of training and development.
An award made by the Employment Tribunal to compensate successful employees for unfair dismissal. This award is calculated according to a formula based on the employee’s age, length of service and weekly pay.
When either party to a contract breaches one or more of its terms.
Workers employed on an ad hoc basis, often in industries such as catering and agriculture. The work offered to a casual worker is usually seasonal or in an industry which has variable needs throughout the year.
An agreement or an arrangement between an employer and one or more trade union.
An award made by the Employment Tribunal to compensate successful employees for the losses they have incurred as a result of the termination of their employment.
An alternative dispute mechanism which aims to resolve disputes outside of the Employment Tribunal.
The employee is forced to resign from their employment due to the actions of their employer making the working relationship untenable.
A minimum period of service with an employer before an employee accrues certain employment rights (such as the right to bring an unfair dismissal claim or claim statutory maternity pay).
A written agreement governing the relationship between the employee and the employer. Sometimes referred to as a “Section 1 statement”, or a written statement of terms and conditions.
- Disability discrimination
Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s disability.
- Disciplinary and grievance procedures
These set out the process to be followed when there are allegations of misconduct against an employee or when an employee wishes to raise a grievance against their employer.
When the employer terminates the Contract of Employment with the employee.
A mandatory procedure which must be initiated and concluded before a claim is issued in the Employment Tribunal.
- Effective date of termination ("EDT")
The date upon which the employee’s employment terminates for the purposes of employment legislation.
Someone who is contracted to carry out certain duties in accordance with their Contract of Employment.
- Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT")
Hears appeals against decisions of the Employment Tribunal.
- Employment Tribunal ("ET")
Hears employment disputes. Cases are adjudicated by one legally qualified Employment Judge who may sit alone or with two lay members with appropriate experience.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission ("EHRC")
Promotes understanding of the importance of equality and diversity, encourages good practice in relation to equality and diversity, promotes equality of opportunity, enforces the Equality Act 2010 and works towards the elimination of unlawful discrimination and harassment.
A Contract of Employment that terminates upon the expiry of a fixed term, on completion of a particular task or on the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of a specific event.
The right to request a flexible working pattern of employment.
A period when an employee is asked not to attend the office or contact clients or customers, but still receives their salary and contractual benefits.
A way of working whereby an individual is self-employed but takes on numerous short term “gigs” for different organisations.
Misconduct so serious as to justify the dismissal of an employee without notice or a payment in lieu.
A payment made to employees who have been laid off.
Unwanted conduct violating another person’s dignity, or creating an offensive, intimidating or hostile environment.
A paper-based or electronic document containing an employer’s employee-related policies and procedures.
A period of time where the employee does not attend their place of work but continues to receive their usual remuneration.
Can include strikes, work-to-rule, go-slow or an overtime ban.
- Maternity allowance ("MA")
A social security benefit paid to those who are not entitled to statutory maternity pay.
A period of leave an employee is entitled to take upon the birth of their child.
- National Living Wage ("NLW")
A premium added to the national minimum wage for all workers aged 25 and over, which is effective from April 2016.
- National Minimum Wage ("NMW")
A minimum hourly rate of pay which workers in the UK are entitled to receive.
A period of time that must be given to the other party before terminating a Contract of Employment.
A period of leave in addition to maternity or paternity leave.
Workers who are paid by reference to the hours they work.
A period of leave the father of a child is entitled to take following the child’s birth.
An award which the Employment Tribunal may order an employer to pay to its employees if it has failed to inform and consult the employees’ representatives when making 20 or more employees redundant.
Properly described as a “pre-termination negotiation” it is a framework for a discussion with an employee which will be inadmissible in evidence in any later unfair dismissal claim.
Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s race.
Where an employer decides to reduce its workforce (usually due to a reduction in work) leading employees having their employment terminated.
Information given to a future employer highlighting an employee’s key achievements and responsibilities whilst in employment.
- Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief
Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s religion or belief.
A written agreement complying with certain strict statutory requirements which has the effect of waiving those statutory rights of an employee which are identified in it.
Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s sex.
- Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation
Direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of someone’s sexual orientation.
An entitlement for eligible parents of babies and adopted children to share maternity rights and benefits for their child during the child’s first year.
- Statutory adoption pay ("SAP")
Payments made by an employer to an employee who is on adoption leave.
- Statutory maternity pay ("SMP")
Payments made by an employer to an employee who is on maternity leave.
- Statutory sick pay ("SSP")
Payments made by an employer to an employee who is on sick leave.
A mass refusal of employees to continue to work, often arranged by a trade union in protest to an employer’s actions.
Where an employer sends an employee home and does not give them any work to do, but they remain an employee entitled to pay and benefits. Usually happens when the employer is investigating an employee’s alleged misconduct.
- Terms and Conditions of Employment
Usually found in the Contract of Employment; terms and conditions which record the terms upon which the employee works for the employer.
An organisation which consists of workers whose principal purpose is the regulation of relations between workers and their employers.
- Transfer of undertakings ("TUPE")
Legislation that regulates what happens to its employees when a business is transferred from one owner to another, or where responsibility for an out-sourced service is transferred.
The reason and the manner in which the dismissal of an employee was handled.
- Unlawful deduction of wages
The deduction of any sum from an employee’s wages without the employee’s authorisation or consent.
An individual treats another person unfavourably because they suspect or know that the person is intending to do a protected act. A protected act includes discrimination proceedings, giving evidence in proceedings or making an allegation of unlawful dismissal.
- 'Without Prejudice' conversation
A rule which will generally prevent statements made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute, whether made orally or in writing, from being put before a Court or Tribunal as evidence of an admission by the party making the statement.
Someone who works under a Contract of Employment or any other contract (written or oral) whereby they undertake to perform certain duties on behalf of the employer.
- Working Time Regulations ("WTR")
Legislation that regulates the number of hours an employee is to work, the employment of children, rest breaks and holidays.