HR Toolkit

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HR Glossary

Reasonable efforts that an organization is able to make to accommodate a person with disabilities.

Alternative Work Arrangement
Non-traditional work arrangement such as flextime and a compressed work week that provide staff more flexibility while still achieving operational goals.

Baby Boomers
People born between 1946 and 1964.

Base Pay
The basic annual salary or hourly wage that an employee receives.

A process of comparing your organization’s practices to the best practices or standards of other similar organizations.

Under an employee benefit plan, a benefit is any form of payment - pension, medical/dental coverage - that is due to an employee who is enrolled in the plan or his/her beneficiary after an eligibility period.

Benefits Deduction
The amount taken off an employee’s pay to cover all or part of the employee’s benefits package.

Bona Fide Occupational Requirement
A qualification for a position that discriminates against some individuals but is an objective, essential requirement for the position that has been imposed in good faith.

A lump sum payment received by an employee, in addition to their base pay, as a result of the employee, team or organization achieving pre-set targets.

A form of training where the supervisor/manager models or demonstrates a behaviour or task and uses feedback to guide the employee while s/he practices the behaviour or task.

Collective Agreement
A contract negotiated between the employer and the union which states the terms and conditions of employment for unionized staff.

Payment received for the services rendered to, or work performed on behalf of the organization.

A set of knowledge, skills and abilities obtained through formal or non-formal education, work experience, or other means required to perform a job.

Compressed Work Week
An arrangement where an employee works the standard number of hours in a one or two week period, but compresses those hours into fewer work days (thus working longer hours on the days the employee is at work).

Constructive Dismissal
Constructive Dismissal occurs when there is a significant change in the employment relationship without the employee’s actual or implied consent and the employee resigns within a reasonable time after learning of learning of the changes. For example, the employer significantly reduces an employee’s salary or makes significant changes to an employee’s work location, hours of work, authority or position. See the Employment Standards Act for your jurisdiction for more information.

An action taken by management to encourage desirable conduct and compliance with organizational policies and standards.

Eligibility Requirement
Conditions that an employee must comply with to be eligible for benefits.

An individual who performs work under the direction and control of an employer and is paid by that employer.

Employee Development
A process for preparing employees for future job responsibilities.

Employee Handbook
A handbook providing general information about the organization and its programs/services as well as key policies and employee benefits. Usually given to the employee as part of the orientation process.

Employment Standards
Laws governing the conditions of employment which outline the minimum rights and obligations of the employer and employee.

Equal Pay for Equal Work
Employee with the same skills and experience who perform the same kinds of work must be paid the same regardless of gender or other individual characteristics.

Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value
Providing equal pay to male-dominated jobs and female-dominated jobs which have the same value or worth to the employer.

Exit Interview
An interview with an employee who is leaving the organization. The purpose is to collect information about her/his impressions of the organizations strengths and areas for improvement and his/her reason(s) for leaving that could be used to improve overall organizational effectiveness and retention.

Flexible Time
An arrangement where employees work the standard number of hours in a workday, but the start and finish time is at the discretion of the individual employee. Usually organizations set core hours when everyone must be present in the workplace.

Generation X
People born between 1965 and 1980.

Generation Y
People in the workforce who were born in 1981 or later.

Any formal, written complaint or allegation about conduct in the workplace that an employee seeks management assistance in resolving.

Grievance Procedure
The steps to be taken to resolve a workplace dispute usually involving discussions at progressively higher levels of authority within the organization. In a unionized environment, the grievance process will be clearly outlined as part of the collective agreement.

Group RRSP
A Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan is a plan set up and administered by the employer or union. Each participating employee has an individual plan under the umbrella of the group. Group RRSP contributions are made through a payroll deduction. With a Group RRSP taxes are not deducted on the contributions made to the plan. Therefore the plan participants get a reduction in taxes with each contribution rather than the annual tax refund associated with an individual RRSP.

A member of the organization treats another member of the organization in an unacceptable and disrespectful way because of that person’s race, gender, age, religion or other protected grounds as outlined in Human Rights legislation.

Incentive Pay
A monetary reward received by an employee for achievement of expected results that were established at the beginning of the performance cycle.

Job Analysis
A process for collecting information that describes in detail the criteria for successful job performance. Typically, job analysis focuses on tasks, responsibilities, knowledge and skill requirements, and any other abilities for successful job performance.

Job Description
A written summary of the tasks, responsibilities and duties of a job.

Job Design
The way in which tasks are combined to form a job.

Job Evaluation
A systematic process for comparing jobs and ranking them based on their relative worth to the organization. Job evaluation is used to establish compensation.

Job Sharing
An arrangement where two employees share one position.

Labour Standards
Laws governing the conditions of employment which outline the minimum rights and obligations of the employer and employee.

A paid or unpaid absence from work that does not affect the contract of employment.

Long-term Disability
An illness or injury where it is determined that the employee is incapable of performing the essential duties of his/her job and is being treated by a physician for the related illness or injury. The terms and conditions of long-term disability pay will depend upon the insurance provider.

The employee and supervisor set objectives for the employee for the coming year; the employee is evaluated on how well s/he has achieved the agreed upon objectives.

Mean is another word for average. It is calculated by adding up all the individual numbers and then dividing by the number of individual entries.

The median is the number that is in the middle. All the values are put on order from lowest to highest. If there is an even number of entries the median is found by averaging the two numbers in the middle.

An informal relationship where, on an ongoing basis, a more experienced individual offers guidance and/or career advice to a less experienced colleague.

The introduction of a new employee to the organization and his/her job.

Part-time/Reduced Hours
Arrangements where an employee works less than the standard work week hours.

Pay Equity
Providing equal pay to male-dominated jobs and female-dominated jobs which have the same value or worth to the employer.

Pension Plan
A plan established and maintained by the employer and/or union to provide for the payment of a pension benefit to participants of the plan after they retire. Usually matching contributions to the plan are made by the employee and the employer.

Performance Based Pay
Salary decisions, particularly increases, which are based on performance achievement – with the intention of encouraging and rewarding superior performance.

Performance Management
A process where the manager and employee establish goals and the plan for achieving them. The goals are based on the operational plan of the organization and include plans for employee development.

A guide that establishes the parameters for decision making and action.

The amount paid by the employee and/or employer to keep an insurance policy in force.

Probationary Period
A trial period for new employees, prior to their employment becoming permanent.

The range is the difference between the lowest and the greatest value.

Re-earnable Bonus
A system of salary increase whereby an employee’s base salary stays the same year over year, but they re-earn “salary increases” each year, based on the individual’s performance and the organization’s ability to offer the additional monetary compensation.

Process for finding and attracting suitable applicants.

Registered Pension Plan
A pension plan registered for taxation purposes under the appropriate federal and/or provincial legislation.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan is a voluntary individual retirement plan funded by the individual’s own earnings. Some organizations dedicate part of their employee’s salary for an RRSP. The responsibility for making the RRSP contribution lies with the employee.

The process of screening applicants to ensure that the most appropriate applicant is hired.

The length of time an employee has been with an organization, which may be used for deciding on promotions and lay-offs.

A lump-sum payment made to an employee when the employment relationship is ended without cause by the employer.

Sexual Harassment
An unwanted and/or unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in a work relationship.

Succession Management
Identification and development of individuals with a high potential for taking on leadership positions

An arrangement where an employee works either part or all of their workweek from a location other than the standard place of work (office).

Total Compensation
All rewards employees receive, including all forms of monetary reward, benefits, perquisites, non-cash rewards, services and in-kind payments.

Providing an employee with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform her/his current job.

The number of people who leave an organization during a set period of time (such as a year). The turnover rate is calculated as a percentage of the average number of employees during the same period.

Work Week
The standard number of hours worked in a week.

Work-Life Balance
A range of practices designed to improve the balance between the demands of an employee’s work and personal life.