A Basic Phrase Sheet for Business Professionals Learning English

Listing of Key Employment Vocabulary and Phrases

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English teachers are often not equipped to go into depth in the terminology required in specific trade sectors. For this reason, supplementary core vocabulary sheets go a long way in helping teachers provide adequate materials for students needing an intensive study of vocabulary in very targeted areas. This core vocabulary reference sheet provides keywords and phrases used by a business' human resources department. This list can be used as a starting point for vocabulary study relating to employment and working. Knowledge of these terms can help people get a job and understand employee handbooks of policies that they are required to follow upon employment at a company. The list contains British and American spellings of terms and phrases, as noted by the use of "(UK)" and British spellings such as "labour," which is spelled "labor" in the United States.

Human Resources Vocabulary

absentee

absenteeism

absenteeism rate

accident at work/industrial injury

applicant/candidate

application form

apprenticeship

aptitude test

assessment of applicants

assistant

back pay

bargaining power

basic salary

blue-collar worker

business hours/office hours

Christmas bonus

clerical work/office work

company bargaining/company negotiation

compensation for permanent disability

contractual situation

cost-of-living allowance

credentials

day shift

direct labour (UK)

disability pension

disciplinary measure/disciplinary sanction

discrimination

dismissal

dismissal for cause

dismissal without notice

early retirement

employer

employment agency

employment card/working papers

employment contract/labour contract (UK)

employment for a trial period

employment office

employment rate

executive cadres

executive personnel

exit permit

experienced person

family allowances

family leave

federal holiday/national holiday (US)/public holiday (UK)

full employment

full-time employment

general strike

gross wages and salaries

harassment

have an accident at work

healthcare

higher education/advanced education

human relations (US)/human relationships (UK)

independent unions

index-linked wages

indirect labour (UK)

industrial tribunal (UK)/labour court (UK)

internal regulations

irregular work/discontinuous work

job/employment

job application

job description

job evaluation

job satisfaction

job security

job sharing

junior clerk/junior employee

labor costs

labor disputes

labor force/manpower

labor market

labor mobility

labor relations (US) /industrial relations (UK) 

labor relations/trade-union relations

labor retraining

labor supply

labor union (US)/trade union (UK) 

layoff

learning by doing

leave

letter of appointment

lock-out

management training

managing director

maternity leave

middle management

minimum rate of pay

moonlighting

motivation

night shift

occupation/employment

office hours

office manager

office staff/office personnel

on-the-job training

outsourcing

overtime pay

overtime work

part time

part-time job

partial disability pay

pay envelope (US)/wage packet (UK)

pay formula/retribution diagram

pay increase for merit

paycheck/payslip payroll/payroll ledger

pension

pension fund

period of notice

permanent disability

permanent job/steady job

permanent staff personnel/staff

personnel department

personnel requirements

planner

pretax

prevention

production bonus

professional qualifications

professional training

programmer

purchasing manager

re-employment

redundancy payment

refresher course

relationship management

remuneration

resign (chairperson)/to give notice (employee)

resignation (chairperson)/notice (employee)

retirement

retirement age

right to strike

salaried workers/employees

salary

salary range/wage band

seasonal employment

seasonal workers

second shift

secondary job

senior clerk / senior employee

severance pay / dismissal pay

short-term employment

sick leave / sick day

skilled labor (US) / skilled labour (UK)

skilled work

skilled workers

social costs

social insurance / national insurance

Social Security (US)

sole director

staff costs / personnel costs

striker

temporary disability

temporary staff

temporary worker / temp

the job is still vacant

third shift

time card

time clock

to apply for a job

to appoint a person

to ask for a raise

to be dismissed / to be fired

to be laid off

to be on probation / to be on trial

to be on strike

to be out of work / to be unemployed

to dismiss / to fire

to fill a vacancy

to go on strike

to hold a position

to interview

to retire

to risk indemnity

to secure employment

to select candidates

to strike

to take measures

to take one's vacation days (US) / to take one's holidays (UK) 

to train

to work at home / to telecommute

top manager

total disability

trade

training

training period

trial period

under contract

underemployed

unemployment

unemployment benefits

union dues / union subscription

union officer / trade unionist

unjustified dismissal

unpaid leave

unskilled labor (US) / unskilled labour (UK)

unskilled

worker vacancy / vacant position

vacation (US) / holiday (UK)

wage bargaining / pay negotiations

wage ceiling

wage claims

wage dynamics

wage freeze

wage pressures

wage-cost spiral

wage-earning

workers

welfare contributions

white-collar

worker

work overtime

work shift

workday (US) / working day (UK)

worker

working hour

workload

workplace