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)
freelance
full employment
full time
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
minimum wage
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 rise
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