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English for Human Resources

Pay

'Pay' is money that you get from your employer, either as a wage or as a salary.

  • What are the pay and conditions for the job?
  • Pay rates in the industry are very poor.
'Back pay' is money owed to you by your employer for work done in the past which has not yet been paid.
  • I'm still owed 3 months back pay for the overtime I did before Christmas.
  • The company cannot afford to give you the back pay it owes you.
A 'pay cut' is a reduction in the amount of pay you are given.
  • We are asking you all to accept a pay cut of 10% to keep the company going.
  • He has the stark choice of accepting a pay cut or losing his job.
A 'pay rise' is an increase in pay.
  • We are looking for a pay rise in line with inflation.
  • I'm going to ask my boss for a pay rise.
A 'pay rate' is the amount per hour (or some other period) that you pay.
  • The pay rate is $12 an hour.
  • The industry cannot attract good quality workers because of the low pay rates.
'Net pay' is the amount earned after deductions (usually for social security and pensions and perhaps for tax.)
  • The gross pay is $12 an hour but net pay is only $9.50 an hour.
  • He said he is only earning $5 an hour but that is his net pay, not his gross.
'Equal pay' means that men and women get the same pay for doing the same job.
  • The women workers are asking for equal pay with the men.
  • In this country, if you don't give the women equal pay, you could go to jail.
An 'itemized pay statement' contains a detailed breakdown of the pay you have earned and the deductions taken from it.
  • The bank want me to give them my itemized pay statements for the last six months.
  • The law states that employees must receive itemized pay statements.
'Performance-related pay' is where the amount you are paid depends on the quality/quantity of your work.
  • Since we introduced performance-related pay, production has doubled.
  • They may need the incentive of performance-related pay.
A 'pay scale' is a range of different pay rates which people will receive depending on various factors (e.g. their grade in the company, their qualifications, their years in the company.)
  • We have six grades on our pay scale. You will start on the bottom one.
  • Perhaps we need to change our pay scale to take account of the loyalty people have shown us?
exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

exercise 4

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