Some of the most commonly used employability terms that you will come across when you’re starting a new job are confusing, so we have created this employability jargon buster to help you understand what everything means.


A percentage of your wage charged by the government. 


An allowance for those who are retired and are no longer in employment. Your employer will usually inform you about the pension scheme at your place of work and you will be given time to decide if you wish to opt out of contributing to your pension. Contributions are a small percentage of your salary which gets deducted each month. Your employer will usually contribute a percentage into your pension as well. 


Personal Protective Equipment such as safety boots and helmets that may be needed for certain jobs. 

National Insurance

National Insurance is a deduction from your pay, paid by every employee which goes towards supporting benefits for those not in employment and used to fund the NHS.

Net Pay

The amount of pay you will receive after deductions. Deductions may include Tax, National Insurance and any pension contributions. You will be given pension information early on in your employment and you can opt out of contributing if you don’t wish to, however it is recommended that you do contribute. These contributions are usually ‘topped up’ by your employer each month too.


An experienced employee who supports a new worker in their role.

Job Description

(JD) describes the duties and responsibilities of a role. The Job Description may also include details such as hours and salary.


Received at the beginning of employment, which introduces you to the company and job role.


Human Resources is a department within an organisation that supports staff. Also known as Personnel.


When someone feels intimidated, picked on or made to feel scared.

Gross Pay

Your earnings before deductions like National Insurance and tax.

Employee Number

This is your unique employee number; this will appear on your payslip. If you are unsure of where to find your employee number speak to a member of personnel/HR and they should be able to provide you with it.


A person who is hired to provide a service to an employer. If you are working for an employer and you have a contract of employment then you are classed as their employee.


 The similarities and differences between people such as race, ethnicity and gender.


When someone suffers unwanted treatment in one of the 9 protected characteristics; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation.


Your CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is a written explanation of your work, skills and experience. Steps to Work can assist you with writing and editing your CV if you need help, so contact us on 01922 892047 or email enquiries@stepstowork.co.uk for information.

CRB Check

Employers often require their employees to have a CRB (criminal record bureau) check which would show whether they have convictions that may restrict them from working with vulnerable people.


Your appraisal is a yearly assessment of your performance where you will usually sit with your manager and discuss how you have been doing in your role. It is as much a chance for you to tell your manager about any issues or concerns that you have as it is for them to tell you of any concerns they have.

Annual Leave

Days/holiday that you are entitled to. These are usually paid days off, your employer will show you the process to book annual leave, this usually needs to be done at least a couple of weeks in advance and will need to be authorised by your manager.