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.


P11D Employers use this form to submit an end of year report to HMRC for each director or employee whom the company has provided with expenses or benefits. These include company cars, health insurance, childcare, or travel and entertainment expenses.

P30 The P30 is the total of any tax deducted from employees’ pay, minus any refund. It is a payslip you send to HMRC, along with your payments.

P32 The P32 is a summary of the monthly amounts you have paid, or are still owing, to HMRC. This includes all National Insurance contributions, PAYE, and student loan deductions. Since RTI was introduced, the information in the P32 is sent through as part of the Full Payment Summary and Employer Payment Summary.

P35 The P35 was previously included as part of the end of year return, which detailed the total tax and National Insurance deducted for each employee. Since the introduction of Real Time Information (RTI) on 6 April 2013, this form been replaced by the Full Payment Submission (FPS) and Employer Payment Summary (EPS).

P45 When an employee stops working for a business, legally they must be provided with a P45 form. It shows how much tax they’ve paid in the current payroll year, their National Insurance number and address. They present the P45 to their new employer, or to the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) if claiming benefits. Their details can then be set up on a new payroll system.

P46 A P46 used to be completed by an employee if they didn’t have a P45 or were continuing with another job as well as working for their employer. The P46 ensured they were paying the right amount of tax. Since Real-Time Information (RTI) was introduced in April 2013, the New Starter Checklist now captures the details for a tax code and is then submitted to HMRC as part of RTI submissions.

P50 The P50 form is used to claim a tax refund from HMRC if you have been unemployed for at least four weeks and not claiming benefits (such as Jobseekers’ Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Carer’s Allowance).

P6 More accurately called a tax code change notice, a P6 is a notification that will be emailed to you by HMRC if an employee’s tax code changes during the tax year.

P60 A P60 shows details of earnings and how much tax an employee has paid throughout the tax year. As an employer, you must give a P60 to each employee who was working for you at the end of the payroll year. This must be provided by 31 May following the end of the payroll year on 5 April.

Partner integrations Partner integrations are when a third-party product seamlessly integrates with a company’s own, using APIs.

PAYE Pay as You Earn (PAYE) is the scheme whereby employers deduct tax and National Insurance at source from their employees’ salaries on behalf of HMRC. The money must be promptly transferred to the government, via direct debit and using HMRC’s online account for the specific employer. Details must be sent by the Real Time Information (RTI) system, via payroll software.

PAYE Manual A PAYE Manual is one of several HMRC guides to help employers understand their legal requirements for payroll and employing people. It contains all an employer needs to know when using the PAYE system.

PAYE Online PAYE Online is HMRC’s online service for payroll. Registration by employers is required. You’ll need to input your PAYE Online account details into your payroll software for Real Time Information (RTI).

Payroll Payroll is a list of a company’s employees and how much they are paid.

Payroll aggregator model A payroll aggregator model is a company or payroll solution partnered with multiple in-country providers (ICPs) to process payrolls in the local country for a global aggregator or employer. An aggregator model offers local support and payroll processing that integrates the local payroll engine and information into a unified global system.

Payroll cycle A payroll cycle describes the length of time between payrolls. An employer who processes payroll every month will count each month as a new payroll cycle.

Payroll data Payroll data is information about each staff member working in the business, including payroll, leave and absence, time and attendance. This data can be very useful to spot workforce trends, for example, in productivity and engagement – helping to inform future business strategy.

Payroll engine A payroll engine is the system required to execute and process payroll.

Payroll outsourcing Payroll outsourcing is when a company hires third-party providers to take on all or part of their payroll responsibilities. This decision makes business sense, saving time and money and streamlining productivity. A reputable outsourced payroll provider will use cloud-based software to automate previously manual tasks.

Payroll outsourcing services Payroll outsourcing services are the services provided to a company by third-party experts. These services include running an accurate, compliant payroll, calculating deductions and expenses, and filing any taxes.

Payroll outsourcing solutions Payroll outsourcing solutions are solutions provided by outsourced payroll providers. These include ensuring that a company’s payroll is run smoothly, efficiently and accurately. Plus, with automatic updates on cloud-based outsourced payroll solutions, it becomes easier for a company to meet its compliance obligations.

Payroll processing Payroll processing is running an accurate payroll. In other words, paying employees according to their level, wages, and deductions. Payroll must be processed in time with the company’s pay schedule, while also keeping up to date with all relevant compliance regulations.

Payroll services Payroll services are those services delivered by a third-party payroll provider. They include processing payroll calculations, tax statements and year-end statements. A payroll service provider can help a business meet their filing requirements, while using cloud-based software to automate and streamline operations.

Payroll software Payroll software helps businesses to organise and automate staff payments. The software, often cloud-based, tracks all payments while keeping accurate payment records. It can also be used by business leaders to monitor workforce behaviour such as time and attendance, productivity and engagement, providing insightful data to help underpin decisions.

Payroll solutions Payroll solutions are often delivered via software which automates, manages and organises previously manual payroll and HR activities. These could include paying staff wages, calculating the correct deductions and paying taxes on time. The software can also integrate with other HR systems, such as monitoring time and attendance.

Payroll year end Payroll year end is the process of submitting your final payroll report to HMRC for the previous tax year, which ends on 5 April. As part of reporting the final numbers, you must give your employees a P60 and prepare for the new tax year, which starts on 6 April.

Pension A pension scheme is a long-term saving plan for retirement that employees pay into while working. Pension schemes often have favourable tax treatment compared to other forms of saving. With a workplace pension, a percentage of your monthly pay is put towards the pension scheme and your employer must by law add money for you.

People management People management describes the business function of looking after a company’s workers. A people management system contains one system of record with all workforce information – including details such as salary, skills, contracts, leave and absence – securely housed there.

Performance appraisal Performance appraisals are reviews held by a manager one-to-one with an employee. They help employers to recognise and reward workers fairly, allowing workers to understand what they contribute to their organisation and where they can improve.

Performance objectives Employee performance objectives are goals and targets agreed between employee and employer. They’re designed to be ‘SMART’ – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Once agreed, they can be used to prioritise work, assess progress and ensure staff are performing as expected.

Professional services Professional service providers have specialised knowledge in areas such as marketing, accounting or law. They will provide that support to a wide range of businesses.