An introduction to a company, which will often include getting to know the location, company culture, facilities, health and safety and codes of conduct.
This is an informal conversation where someone who might be thinking of joining, or applying to, a company will ask a current employee questions about their role and the employer, as a way of gathering information.
Sometimes called a work placement or work experience, an internship is a chance to experience the work and working life of a company without being a permanent employee. It should be a rewarding period of learning, and if it is also beneficial to the company, it should be paid. Any future opportunities for the intern should be made clear, including whether it may lead to work on a more permanent basis.
One of the reasons why unpaid internships are still such a tricky grey area, is there is currently no legal status attached to internships, work placements and work experience. They can only be judged on legal terms when it is clear as to whether the intern is classified as a ‘worker’ (must be paid), volunteer (an unpaid position) or employee (must be paid) by the company.
It is generally understood that if you provide work that benefits a company, you should be compensated at least the minimum wage. This means that simply receiving expenses, or less, is unacceptable. The exceptions to this are in the case of genuine volunteering positions and certain student internships. A student internships can be unpaid if it is endorsed by the university or college as being useful to their coursework.
Unpaid internships are widely regarded as an abuse of power and damaging to social mobility, and this is something that the government is now cracking down on. Earlier in 2018, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) wrote to more than 500 firms reminding them that interns classed as workers must be paid the minimum wage. Read more about that on The Guardian and the BBC.
If you’re unsure of what a beneficial and fair internship looks like, we recommend this article on It’s Nice That, in which Graduate Fog’s Tanya de Grunwald outlines these ‘Golden Rules’: An internship should be paid; an intern should be managed; an intern’s workload should be structured; an intern should be interviewed for the role.
Plus, see this article and Gov.uk for more on your legal rights.
IP / Intellectual Property
This refers to all creative ideas and products. You can get a full introduction to the associated terms and rights attached to intellectual property here.
When you are self-employed, you can operate as ‘sole trader’ or ‘limited company’. This has to be set up with HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) to ensure that you pay the right amount of tax for your work. While setting up as a sole trader (operating as an individual) is generally understood to be the simpler option, becoming a limited company can be a better option once you are earning more money and are running as a business. You can read more information on setting up a limited company here; and set yourself up here.
Basically a manager – this is the person an in-house employee will report to. The line manager will not always be a senior member of staff, especially if there are a few levels of seniority in a company, but they will always be more senior than the person they manage.
See: National Living Wage.
Mentor / Mentorship
Think of a mentor as a professional friend who offers you advice and guidance. This could be someone whose work you admire, or working in an industry you are interested in. While mentorship schemes are available to help match you with a partner, you can also initiate this yourself on a more informal level, by simply emailing and asking.
A abbreviation of managing director.
Having only taken effect in 1999, the Minimum Wage Act ensures that all employers must pay workers above a certain amount. As of April 2018, the lowest amount an employer can legally pay a worker over 25 years is £7.83 per hour – see all the current rates here.
However, you might also want to take into account the National Living Wage (an initiative set up by the Living Wage Foundation), which varies according to which UK city you live in. This is not a legal requirement, but voluntary on the part of an employer. You can also work out if you are earning the correct legal amount using Gov.uk’s calculator tool.
See also: National Living Wage.
National Living Wage
Created in 2016, the National Living Wage is the legal minimum a worker aged 25 or over must earn in the UK. This is reviewed each year, and is currently set at £7.83 an hour, and will increase to £8.21 an hour in April 2019.
The minimum wage is the minimum you can pay workers aged under 25, and the current rate is £7.38 per hour (rising to £7.70 in April 2018). This is lower for workers under the age of 18 and apprentices.
In addition, the Living Wage Foundation is a platform that is working towards fair payment according to a worker’s living costs. Their scheme suggests that, due to the high cost of living, workers in London should currently be earning £10.20 per hour, and those in the rest of the UK should be earning £9 per hour. Though it is voluntary and not a legal obligation, many businesses have signed up to the scheme (around 4,700 in October 2018). A good, ethical employer will pay this rate to workers aged over 25 where they can.
See also: Minimum Wage.
An abbreviation of ‘non-disclosure agreement’. This is a contract that is produced and signed by teams working on secretive or sensitive work for a brand, to ensure the information isn't shared outside of the job, or even with fellow colleagues.
An abbreviation of ‘out of office’. If someone says they will set ‘an out of office’ (or have received one), this will refer to the automated email sent out to let people know when someone is away. Usually this email will include the date of expected return, and contact information for a colleague, or their phone number, in case of urgent enquiries.
This is time worked as part of your job that runs outside of expected, and agreed, working hours. This doesn’t apply so much for freelancers, and payment for this time depends on the company’s policy. You can read your legal rights on overtime here.
This is the form you receive from your employer when you stop working for them. You usually need to present this to your next employer in order to start a new contract of work (read more here).
As an employee, you receive a form called a P60 at the end of each tax year from your employer (read more here).
This is contracted work that makes up less hours than a full-time position (usually less than 30 hours per week). Hours can be worked in shifts, which can vary from week to week. Read about the rights you have as a part-time worker here.
These are the levels of pay a company rewards its staff. These levels are separated in terms of seniority and experience, and can also be impacted by location – for example, in London income might be higher due to a higher cost of living.
As an example of these levels, a junior pay band could be £18,000 to £23,000; midweight £24,000 to 29,000; senior £30,000 to £35,000.
A review of the income of a company’s staff, according to individual and overall performance of a workforce. A pay review will often take an individual worker’s achievements into account (usually as a result of an appraisal) and can result in a promotion or pay rise.
An abbreviation of ‘pay as you earn’. This is a tax term and applies to in-house, permanent employees at a company, whose taxes come out of their wages each month (i.e. are paid as they earn, with taxes handled by the employer). This is in contrast to freelancers, who need to claim their income to the tax office, file and pay their own taxes accordingly.
This is a company's list of its employees. If you are ‘on payroll’, you are within a group of permanent staff who are paid each month.
Permalancer / Permalance
Described in the Urban Dictionary as “A freelance position that turns into a full-time job without benefits,” permalancing is an unofficial term for people who freelance with a company on a more permanent basis. These freelancers remain self-employed, but are more committed and loyal to a company for an extended period of time, rather than days or weeks.
A company’s set of rules, set out according to law, and in line with their own cultural and ethical standards.
A pro-rata salary is usually stated for a part-time job, where the salary has been calculated according to what the job would pay to a full-time worker. This means that where a pro-rata salary is stated, the worker will earn less, which can be worked out according to the days expected to work. For example, if the pro-rata salary is £30,000 (calculated for a 40-hour week), and you’ll be expected to work 20 hours a week, the actual salary will be £15,000.
After a job offer is accepted by a new permanent member of staff (or worker) and a contract is signed, a probation period serves as a trial period. This is a set amount of time that the job is carried out, when both the employee and employer get to know each other and decide whether to continue with the working contract. This is usually between three and six months in the UK, and if someone ‘passes’ their probation, their position is then secured. If an employer has reason to, they are entitled to extend the probation period, to further identify whether someone is a good fit for the job.
Real Living Wage
See: National Living Wage.