UK Payroll and HR Glossary

Don’t know your HRIS from your HRMS? Discover the meaning of the latest UK payroll and HR terms and abbreviations with this free glossary.


BackCheck ADP BackCheck is a comprehensive background screening solution for businesses who wish to take the guesswork out of hiring new talent and improve regulatory compliance. It checks, amongst other things, a candidate’s social media usage, as well as ensuring their personal data is protected.

Background screening Background screening is a series of comprehensive checks made on a job candidate to verify their identity and fitness for the role. These would include criminal record checks, confirmation of past addresses, bankruptcy checks, drug screening and personal as well as professional assessments.

BACS Bankers Automated Clearing Service, or BACS, is an electronic payment system for making inter-bank payments. They either take the form of a direct debit, where one party is authorised to debit money from another bank account, or direct credit. This is when a party deposits the money in another’s bank account.

Bad debt A bad debt is a debt that will not be paid, and the creditor is unwilling to take action to recover this debt. This could be because the company no longer exists, or the debtor is unable to pay for another reason. The debt is written off and an allowance for bad debt is made in the accounts.

Bank reconciliation Bank reconciliation is the term for regularly matching the information in a company’s accounts to the transactions and money in the bank account. This ensures all income and expenditure is accounted for. Any differences between income and expenditure must be settled.

Benefits in kind Also termed non-cash benefits, benefits in kind are taxable items or services provided to employees in addition to their salary. They can’t be converted into cash but have a cash value. Benefits in kind include private healthcare, gym memberships, company cars and travel expenses.

Benefits management Benefits management delivers staff benefits to positively affect their loyalty and performance. To help maintain a healthy work-life balance, employers may offer gym memberships, massage, counselling or life coaching, dentistry, maternity services and personal training.