HR Glossary





About the Job A form summarising the tasks and responsibilities for a specific job and the knowledge, skills and experience required, under a number of standard headings; used to describe the job to potential applicants and for grading jobs in the University of Sheffield Grading Scheme. See About the Job.
Agreement for service(s) An agreement used for appointing a self-employed individual such as a contractor or a consultant (of a profession or business run by that individual) to carry out services for another party where the relationship between the parties is not that of employer and employee. Generally the individual is an independent consultant, who can seek to subcontract the work with University of Sheffield approval. See Contractual Relationships.
APL - Additional Paternity/Partner Leave Additional paternity/partner leave (APL) may be taken within the first year of their child's life or placement for adoption, subject to eligibility.
ASPP - Additional Statutory Paternity Pay Additional Statutory Paternity Pay is equivalent to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and can be paid to the partner during a period of Additional Paternity/Partner Leave (APL), subject to eligibility.
At Risk Post at risk of redundancy due to organisational change/restructuring.
Atypical worker See Casual Worker


BACS Electronic transfer of payment into a bank or building society account.


Casual worker A casual worker (or hourly paid or atypical worker) is someone who undertakes paid work on behalf of the University, without a formal UoS contract of employment issued by the Human Resources for the work, typically on an ad-hoc basis. See Contractual Relationships.
Collective Consultation Discussion with a group of staff or with trade union representatives about proposed changes/restructuring with a view to seeking feedback and making any agreed changes.
Companion A work colleague or trade union representative who may accompany a member of staff at formal hearings e.g. disciplinary or grievance.
Continuity of Employment (CoE), or Continuity of Service (CoS) The duration an employee has worked at the University of Sheffield (without any breaks in service), recorded by the date the employee first commenced employment.
Contract of employment/(contract of service) An agreement of work between an employee and the University of Sheffield, whether expressly agreed (verbally or in writing) or implied by the nature of the relationship.  Whether or not an individual is working under a contract of employment will determine whether they are entitled to certain statutory rights. For a contract of employment to exist there must usually be at least: an obligation to personally perform the work, mutuality of obligation between the employer and employee to provide/accept work, and a sufficient element of control over the employee´s work (e.g. how/when/where etc it is undertaken).
Consultant A company or firm which provides services to a client. Alternatively, an individual who works under an Agreement for Service (i.e. is self employed).
Criminal Records Checks


Departmental Review Panel (DRP) The Departmental Review Panel will consult and consider all staff in the Department to determine whether they should be considered for promotion or be recommended for an Exceptional Contribution Award (ECA).
DBS Checks (Disclosure and Barring Service) Checks carried out to determine if a new or existing member of staff has a criminal record, carried out in line with the University of Sheffield's policy on the Recruitment and Employment of Ex-offenders.


EDB - Equality & Diversity Board EDB champions its mission of excellence through inclusion by developing strategy, monitoring equality and diversity matters in the University, evaluating action and progress made in key areas of business activity across the organisation, and providing support and guidance where needed to promote equality of opportunity and eliminate unfair discrimination.
EEA - European Economic Area All nationals from European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland are free to live and work in the UK.
Employee As defined by the ERA 1996, an individual who has entered into, works or worked under the terms of a contract of employment. An individual who is not an employee may be self-employed or a worker. See Contractual Relationships.
Employer An organisation with one or more employees (in this case, the University of Sheffield).
Employment Agency An agency that provides information about job vacancies to workers who are looking for work. Any contract is between the individual and the hirer, and not with the agency. See Agency Workers.
Employment Business Commonly known as a Temp Agency, a business that provides workers to work but the contractual relationship is with the Employment Business and not with the individual. It is the employment business that is provide with payment by the University. See Agency Workers.
Employment Status The category which will determine what rights an individual is entitled to at work. This assessment is based on the principle that if three criteria are present (personal service, control and mutuality of obligation) then the individual is likely to be working as an employee. See Contractual Relationships.
Enhanced Redundancy Payment (ERP) 2x statutory redundancy payment. Eligibility criteria in relation to continuous service normally applies.
ETW - Eligibility to Work Statutory duty to seek evidence of an employee's right to work in the UK (Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006).
EWC Expected Week of Childbirth - The week your baby is due.  (For Maternity Leave purposes).


Fit Notes The common name for a Statement of Fitness for Work, which replaces the old ‘sick notes’.
Fixed-term contract (FTC) A contract of employment, which will come to an end either on a set date or after a set period. For example, after 6 months, or on a specific date, or a specific event (e.g. the return to work by a woman on maternity leave for whom the individual was providing cover, a contract funded for a limited period or a contract which ends when a piece of research has been completed). See Contractual Relationships.
Freelance worker A worker whose work involves moving from assignment to assignment, often, but not always, with different organisations.
FTE Full-time equivalent; generally expressed as a percentage, this represents the proportion of full-time hours that a part-time worker is contracted for.


Grade Profiles Written descriptions of the responsibilities and requirements of jobs in each of the grades in the University of Sheffield Grading Scheme.


Harassment Harassment is defined as any behaviour which is unacceptable to the recipient and which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for employment, study or social life.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) The primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the UK.
Honorary posts Honorary Academic Titles are normally used by the University of Sheffield to confirm regular on-going collaborations (not occasional visits) between the University and individuals employed by other institutions or organisations. Such individuals will be making or will have made significant professional and/or academic contributions to the University.
Hourly paid teacher An individual undertaking teaching activity for the University, paid with an hourly rate. See also Atypical worker.
Hourly paid worker An individual undertaking work for the University, paid with an hourly rate. See Casual worker.
HRC - Human Resources Committee Committee to consider and approve the HR and employment related mission and strategy of the University. See University Committees


Immigration Immigration is the movement of non-native people into a country in order to live and work there.
Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 Legislation that imposes the onus on employers to ensure that all employees are not in breach of immigration rules, making it an offence to employ a person who is not permitted to work in the UK.


JNCHES Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff
Job holder A member of staff who is undertaking a particular job.
Job grading A joint exercise between departments and Human Resources, in which the job of a member of staff is matched to a grade in the University of Sheffield Grading Scheme (USGS) on the basis of information provided by the individual member of staff and their manager, and the grade profiles.
Job matching Matching of existing posts in current structure to posts in the new structure with a view to appointing staff to similar posts following organisational change/restructuring.
Joint Union Campus Committee (JUCC) A committee with representatives from each of the trade unions, who work at the University of Sheffield and staff from Human Resources.



Leave to remain (LTR) Leave to Remain is permission to stay in the UK, either temporarily (limited leave to remain) or permanently (indefinite leave to remain).


MA - Maternity Allowance Maternity Allowance is usually paid to you if you don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay.
Measures to avoid redundancy Actions which can be taken to reduce the possibility of staff being made redundant.
Mediation Mediation is an informal means of resolving interpersonal conflicts, between colleagues, managers and their staff.
Migrant (Worker/Working) Person who is engaged in work activity outside of home country.


National Minimum Wage (NMW) The minimum legal hourly rates of pay for adults working legally in the UK, who are not genuinely self-employed. 
NIC National Insurance Contributions.


OPL - Ordinary Paternity/Partner Leave Ordinary Paternity/Partner Leave may be taken within the first 8 weeks of the child's birth or placement for adoption, subject to eligibility.


Part time worker/employee An individual who works fewer hours than those working on a full time basis (at the University of Sheffield full time employment is defined as: 37 hours per week for 52 weeks at Grades 1 and 2 and 35 hours per week for 52 weeks at Grades 3-9).
Pay spine A series of ascending pay points, that within the University of Sheffield consist of grades 1-9. See Pay and Grading
PBS - Points Based System The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration system for managing applications by people who wish to come to the UK to work, train or study.  The points-based system consists of five tiers.
Pre-Employment Health Assessment: Designated Activities Checklist A checklist used when appointing staff to assess the role in order to identify any possible risks to the health of the individual.



Redeployment Appointment to a post following a member of staff being at risk of redundancy which may be different in terms and conditions to the current post.
Registration Agreement for University Bank An agreement that details the terms of the engagement between a University Bank Worker and the University of Sheffield.
Review Group A Group of senior staff, often chaired by the Faculty PVC, who will develop a business case for organisational change and may be involved in the collective consultation with trade unions and staff.
Ring-Fencing Staff who are affected by the organisational change /restructuring will be given priority for the selection and appointment to posts in the new structure.
R&PCC - Readerships & Personal Chairs Committee Committee to establish criteria and procedures for conferment of the title of Reader and for appointments to Personal Chairs and promotion of non academic staff to the Grade of Professorial Equivalent and to consider and approve such recommendations. See University Committees
RTW - Return to Work (Interview/Discussion) A structured discussion or interview used where absence is becoming a cause for concern.


SAL - Statutory Adoption Leave Statutory entitlement to Adoption Leave, subject to eligibility.
SAP - Statutory Adoption Pay Statutory entitlement to Adoption Pay, subject to eligibility.
Selection Criteria Criteria which will be taken into account to appoint to posts or to select for voluntary redundancy where there are more staff who wish to be considered for voluntary redundancy than can be approved. Such criteria may include qualifications, skills, absence record, any current disciplinary record.
Self-employed An individual who has their own business or works on their own account. See Contractual Relationships.
SRP - Statutory Redundancy Payment Statutory entitlement to Redundancy Pay, subject to eligibility.
Staff Employees engaged under a contract of employment. See also: Contract of employment /(contract of service). See Contractual Relationships.
SMP - Statutory Maternity Pay Statutory entitlement to Maternity Pay, subject to eligibility.
Sponsorship The procedure for an employer to bring an individual to the UK, to live and work, under the Points Based System (PBS).
SSP - Statutory Sick Pay Statutory entitlement to Sick Pay, subject to eligibility.
Staff Review and Development Scheme (SRDS) An annual review for all University of Sheffield employees, providing the opportunity for self review, feedback, objective setting and development/support planning. The review is carried out through completing an SRDS form and a meeting between the individual and their line manager.
SRC Senior Remuneration Committee. See University Committees
SUCU - Sheffield Universities & Colleges Committee A committee with representatives from UCU, who work at the University of Sheffield, and staff from Human Resources.
Suitable Alternative Employment (SAE) A post which is offered to a member of staff in the new structure which is comparable to the terms and conditions of the existing post. Examples of such conditions relate to travel time, skill requirement.


T&Cs Terms & Conditions of Employment. See Terms and Conditions
Trial Period A period of 4 weeks whereby a member of staff appointed to a new post following organisational change/restructuring can assess and be assessed for suitability to the new role.
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
TUPE Transfer of Undertakings (protection of Employment). To transfer (an employee or group of employees) to another employer under TUPE regulations.


UCard University of Sheffield card to show proof of identity for University of Sheffield staff, students and associated staff. Depending on card type, can be also used to: access buildings with swipe card locks; use library services; join USport S10 health, etc. UCards with limited benefits can also be issued to some University visitors, including workers and contractors.
UKVI - UK Visas & Immigration The UKVI is an agency of the Home Office, responsible for immigration and customs in the UK.
University of Sheffield Grading Scheme (USGS) The University of Sheffield's grading structure, with nine grades in a single structure; applies to all staff, who are not currently on clinical pay scales, up to and including senior lecturer equivalent.
University Business Administration Systems Environment (uBase) The core IT system that stores all the financial and HR information across the University of Sheffield.


Voluntary Redundancy Employment is terminated on the grounds of redundancy, the member of staff having expressed an interest to be considered for redundancy as a result of organisational change.


Workers Individuals who undertake work but are not full employees of the University of Sheffield. See Contractual Relationships
Working Time Regulations Legislation that imposes limits on working hours, provision of rest breaks and minimum annual leave entitlements.