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.


EC Sales Is your business VAT-registered? Then you must report to HMRC all sales of goods or services to VAT-registered customers in a European Union (EU) country. You will need to complete an EC Sales List (ESL) to detail who your customers are, where they are based, and the value of the goods sold in sterling.)

Employee Employees are identified by a written employment contract used by companies to employ them. Employees have rights that workers aren’t statutorily given, such as sick and redundancy pay, maternity leave or pay, protection against unfair dismissal, and a right to request flexible working.

Employee benefits Employee benefits are what an employer may give their workers in addition to their salary, in the form of ‘perks’. A good benefits package can help attract and keep top talent, boosting the employer’s reputation.

Employee engagement Employee engagement is how committed an employee feels about an organisation’s goals, and how much extra effort they put in to help achieve those goals.

Employee pulse survey An employee pulse survey is a short, regular workforce satisfaction survey. The results help HR and people teams check in on how employees are feeling, identifying issues and then taking action to keep engagement and satisfaction, by delivering positive employee experiences.

Employer Payment Summary An administrative fee collected by an employer from an employee for processing a lien. The legality, amount, and collection frequency vary by state

Employment Allowance Employment Allowance allows eligible employers and charities to claim back up to £4,000 every tax year from their employers’ Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NIC). If you pay less than £4,000 in a tax year, you won’t need to pay any Class 1 NIC.

Employment Income Manual An Employment Income Manual is an online guide by HMRC to help employers understand their legal requirements for payroll and employing people. It’s a guide in clear English to the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA 2003).

Employment Status Manual An Employment Status Manual is an online guide by HMRC, providing guidance on the employment status of individuals, including training and apprenticeships. The ESM determines whether an employee is employed or self-employed.

Enterprise An enterprise is a business or company. Enterprise organisation refers to a large business or company with hundreds to thousands of employees. Enterprise software meets the needs of a large organisation rather than a small business or an individual user.

Enterprise management Enterprise management allows different business units to work together by sharing information through one database. Businesses can then manage processes including human resources and accounting.

EPS The Employer Payment Summary (EPS) is one of the submissions completed as part of Real Time Information (RTI). It’s needed if no employees were paid in the tax reporting period, or if you want to claim any payments or reclaim deductions, such as Employment Allowance.

ERP ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It’s a term most frequently used for enterprise software to help run your entire business, with processes in procurement, supply chain, finance, services, and others.

European Data Protection Board The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) is an independent European body set up to ensure the consistent application of data protection laws throughout the European Union. The EDPB was established in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and gives general guidance on key GDPR concepts, while advising the EU on personal data issues.

Expatriate An expatriate is someone who lives and works in a different country from their country of citizenship.

Expense An expense is money spent during the normal functioning of the business. This includes paying staff and suppliers, factory or office leases and equipment depreciation.

Expenses Expenses are the term for money spent in the form of expenditure such as salaries or supplier payments. Businesses can write off tax-deductible expenses on income tax to lower taxable income and tax liability.