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.


National Insurance National Insurance contributions (NICs) are made through payroll or income tax. They fund a range of state benefits. NI is automatically deducted from employees’ pay, however, if you’re self-employed, you pay NI through a self-assessment tax return.

National Living Wage Since 1 April 2016, the National Living Wage is an obligatory minimum wage for UK workers who are 23 years old and over. From Thursday 1 April 2021, the rate rose to £8.91 an hour for those over 23 years old, £8.36 for ages 21 to 24, and £6.56 for ages 18 to 20.

National Minimum Wage The National Minimum Wage must be paid to UK workers, school leavers under 23 and apprentices. The rate rises each year and is set by the government in the Spring Budget, so check the National Minimum Wage page for current rates.

Net Pay Net pay is the total amount an employee takes home in their pay after all deductions (for tax and pensions) have been withdrawn. It is sometimes called ‘take-home pay’ as it is the amount available for bills and living expenses.

NI NI stands for National Insurance, a tax on earnings and self-employed profits to fund state benefits such as the state pension, statutory sick pay and maternity leave. Every employee earning over £166 per week must contribute towards National Insurance.