Abandonment of Employment

When an employee is absent from the workplace for a continuous period of three working days without communication or reasonable reason.

Accredited Training

Training provided by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) which leads to a nationally recognised qualification or certificate.


A person who represents or speaks on the behalf of an employee such as a lawyer or union representative during disciplinary or termination meetings with the employer.


Traditionally for skilled trade based roles, a person becomes a qualified tradesperson through formal study and on-the-job learning.


A legal document created and updated by the Fair Work Commission, setting out the minimum terms and conditions of employment for an industry or occupation.

AWE (Average Weekly Earnings)

Weekly payments made to an employee during a work place injury, based on the average amount the employee was receiving each week over a period of time (usually 12 months) of employment.


Repeated, unreasonable and unwelcome behaviour directed towards an employee or group of employees, that creates a risk to health and safety.

Casual Conversion

A process set out by the NES in which casual employees are offered or have a right to request conversion to become a full-time or a part-time employee, in certain circumstances.

Casual Employee

An employee who works irregular hours and does not have a commitment from the employer for ongoing work or an agreed pattern of work.


Guiding and supporting a person to utilise skills or knowledge to work towards a goal or objective, through encouraging self-discovery.

Code of Conduct

A document that clearly sets out the rules and standards of the company and providing expectations on employee behaviour in the workplace.

Commencement Date

The date on which an employee commences with an employer or first performs hours of service.

Confidentiality Agreement

Also referred to as a Non-Disclosure Agreement, a legal document signed by the employee preventing the disclosure of sensitive information regarding the business, both during and after their employment.

Conflict of Intersest

When the personal interests of an employee clash with the interests of the company.


An employer requesting and considering employee feedback, views or opinions regarding a specific matter i.e. workplace changes.

Continuous Service

An employees period of unbroken service with an employer.


Also referred to as sub-contractors, a person who runs their own business and provides their services to others at a negotiated fee.

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

Company self-regulation ensuring business decisions and operations are ethical and have a positive impact on society and the environment.

Disciplinary Action

Corrective action taken to address issues with employee behaviour or performance.


When an employee, or a group of employees, is treated less favourably than others because of their background or personal characteristics such as race, gender, age or disability.


Employing a range of people from different backgrounds, personalities, life experiences and beliefs and respecting and valuing these differences.

Due Process

The fair treatment of employees whilst matters are resolved by following established rules and procedures.

EBA (Enterprise Bargaining Agreement)

Also referred to as an Enterprise Agreement (EA), a registered agreement setting out the terms and conditions of employment, as negotiated by an employer and employees or their representatives.

EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity)

People are treated fairly and respectfully in all aspects of their employment, with opportunities based on abilities and merit rather than personal differences such as race, gender, age, colour, creed.


A person who is hired to work for someone else's business, in which the employer pays them for their work.

Employment Contract

An agreement established between an employer and employee, outlining the agreed terms and conditions of the employment relationship.

Employment Status

A type of employment contract for example full-time, part-time or casual, which determines the number of hours an employee works, as well as entitlements.

Exit Interview

A meeting between an employee who is leaving their position and member of HR, as an opportunity to gain insight into reasons for employee turnover.

Fair Work Act

The main legislation that govern the relationship between employers and employees in Australia.

Fair Work Commission

Australia's independent workplace relations tribunal whose functions include enforcing minimum wage and employment conditions, enterprise bargaining, industrial action, dispute resolution, termination of employment, and a variety of matters.

Fair Work Ombudsman

An independent statutory agency that monitors, investigates, and enforces compliance with Australia’s workplace law, as well as being a source of advice.

Flexible Work Arrangement

An arrangement between an employer and an employee agreeing to changes to the employees hours, patterns or locations of work.

FTE (Full Time Equivalent)

The measurement of how many full-time employees (working an average of 38 hours a week) a company has.

Full-Time Employee

An employee who generally works a maximum of 38 hours per week, sometimes with a reasonable amount of overtime.

Genuine Redundancy

Dismissal of an employee due to an employer genuinely not requiring the person's job to be completed by any person and where all consultation obligations are followed.


A desired destination, achievement or target.

Grievance Procedure

A documented formal procedure outlining a clear and fair process for employees to raise and settle grievances or complaints arising against another worker or group of workers.


Unwanted behaviour that offends, humiliates or intimidates a person, and targets them on the basis of a characteristic such as gender, race or sexual orientation.

Hierarchy of Controls

A step-by-step tool used to eliminate or control risks in the workplace.

HRM (Human Resource Management)

A strategic approach in establishing and maintaining a competitive workforce within an organisation.

HSC (Health and Safety Committee)

A group of Health and Safety Representatives and other elected employees, who meet regularly and consult with the employer on health and safety matters on behalf of the workforce.

HSR (Health and Safety Representative)

An employee elected by co-workers who represent them in resolving health and safety issues and maintaining safe working conditions.

IFS (Individual Flexibility Arrangement)

A written agreement between an employer and an employee making changes to the effect of the award or registered agreement, to suit the needs of both parties.

Inclement Weather Policy

A document outlining the rules and expectations of employees during severe weather conditions (i.e. heavy rain, storms, extreme heat or cold).


Employees feel involved, valued, respected and are treated fairly regardless of their individual differences.


Commencing on day one, introducing a new employee to the organisations culture, policies and procedures including health and safety and providing necessary information about their new role and its requirements.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

A desired result or objective used to measure performance against.

Leave Accrual

An employee's entitlement to annual leave which accumulates from the date an employee commences, based on the number of ordinary hours worked.

Leave Loading

An extra payment on top of their base rate of pay, in which some employees are entitled to receive from their employer while on annual leave.

Letter of Offer

A formal document sent to the selected candidate, offering them a specific position and outlining the main terms of employment.

Manual Handling

Any activity requiring the use of force by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, hold or restrain something.


The provision of guidance and advice by a more experienced person.

Minimum Wage

As set by the Fair Work Commission, the minimum amount that must be paid to an employee who is not covered by an Award or Agreement.


Also known as General Misconduct, behaviour in the workplace that is unacceptable but does not warrant dismal, rather improvement through corrective action i.e. offensive language, lateness.

Near Miss

An unplanned incident that had the potential to result in an injury or illness, be a danger to health, and/or damage to property or the environment.

NES (National Employment Standards)

A set of 11 entitlements that must be provided to employees under the Fair Work Act.

Non-Compete Clause

A restraint clause within an employment contract, preventing a departing employee from working for a competitor for a specified period of time.

Notice Payment

When an employer pays out an employees notice rather than having them work, equalling the full amount the employee would have been paid if they had worked until the end of the notice period.

Notifiable Data Breaches

Where personal or sensitive information (i.e. customer details) is disclosed and could cause serious harm, a business is obligated to notify affected individuals.


Ensuring everything is in place for a new employee to start their new position including, completion of all paperwork, readying uniforms and equipment and providing access to IT.

Ordinary Hours of Work

An employee's normal and regular hours of work, which do not attract overtime rates.

Organisational Chart

A diagram that shows a company's internal structure by detailing the roles and their responsibilities as well as relationships with others.

OTE (Ordinary Time Earnings)

The gross amount (before tax) an employee earns for their ordinary hours of work, excluding overtime.

Other Employment Policy

The obligations of employees, including seeking permission from the employer, when engaging in any paid employment outside the company.

Part-Time Employee

An employee who is employed on a permanent basis, who works less than 38 hours per week.

Pay Cycle

The time frame (from and to) used to calculate earned wages for that period (i.e.. Monday to Sunday).

Pay Frequency

The schedule of how often employees are paid (i.e. weekly, fortnightly, monthly).

Pay Week

The week during which the day employees are paid falls (i.e. every second week if paid on a fortnightly basis).

Penalty Rates

Higher pay rates that employees are paid for working particular hours or days (i.e. weekends. public holidays, overtime).

Performance Management

An ongoing process of evaluating, providing feedback and developing employees and their performance.

Performance Review

A formal two-way conversation between a manager/supervisor and an employee to evaluate performance, identify opportunities for improvement where required and set performance goals for the future.

PIP (Performance Improvement Plan)

Also known as an Action Plan, documentation outlining issues regarding an employees behaviour or performance, as well as the steps to be taken for improvement, within what time frame.


Includes any machinery, equipment, appliance, container, implement and tool, and any component or anything fitted or connected to any of those things.

Position Description

A document detailing the key details of a role or position within a company including reporting relationships, main responsibilities, key performance indicators as well as qualifications and experience required.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Clothing or equipment worn or used by a person to protect them against risk or injury (i.e. goggles, mask, gloves, face shield, helmet, ear plugs).


The proportion of a full-time employee annual leave entitlement, based on the ordinary hours an employee has worked.

Probation Period

Usually a three or six month time frame in which an employer has the opportunity to assess a new employees suitability to the organisation and role.


The process of hiring new employees which involves attraction, screening, interviewing and selection.


What an employee is paid to perform their role, usually including all pay elements (wages, allowances, superannuation).

Risk Assessment

A process of identifying and documenting hazards in a workplace that may cause harm or damage, evaluating their risk and determining how to eliminate or control the risk.

RTWSA (Return To Work SA)

Provider of work injury insurance for employers who have employees in South Australia.

Serious Misconduct

Behaviour in the workplace that is inconsistent with the continuation on employment and is serious enough to result in dismissal without notice i.e. theft, assault, risking health & safety.

Service Date

Calculated from the first day an employee commences with an employer, which may be revised due to certain absences or breaks in service.

Severance Pay

Also known as redundancy pay, compensation paid to an employee based on their continuous period of service, when made redundant.

SGE (Superannuation Guarantee Contribution)

The minimum amount that must be paid into an employee’s superannuation account.


Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound, to ensure they are clear and increase the chances of achievement.

SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)

A document oulining the step by step instructions on how to complete a task or specific operation.

Span of Hours

Also known as 'spread of hours', these are the time of the day ordinary hours are worked (i.e. between 9am - 5:30pm).


Internal (i.e. employees) or external (i.e. customers) people or groups, who have an interest in or may be impacted by the decisions or actions of a company.

Succession Planning

Preparation for the future by recognising important roles within an organisation and identifying and developing employees to fill those roles if they become vacant.

Support Person

A person elected by the employee to provide moral support not representation, during disciplinary or termination meetings with their employer.

SWMS (Safe Work Method Statement)

Used for high risk activities, a document outlining the work being carried out, associated hazards, measures and controls to be implemented.

Termination Payment

The lump sum payment made to an employee after their employment ends.

TFN (Tax File Number)

A 9 digit personal reference number that identifies a person in the Australian tax and super system.

TOIL (Time Off in Lieu)

Also known as 'time in lieu', allowing employees to take paid time off (away from work) instead of being paid overtime pay.

Tool Box Meeting

An informal meeting held on site usually held weekly, focusing on health and safety topics.

Traineeship A

vailable in wide range of industries, a nationally recognised qualification achieved through formal study and on-the-job learning.


The transference of knowledge or skills to a person, in a group or one-on-one setting.


The total number or percentage of employees who leave and organisation for whatever reason, within a certain time period.

Unfair Dismissal

When the Fair Work Commission finds a termination was harsh, unjust or unreasonable and was not a case of genuine redundancy or where the employer is a small business, the dismissal was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

WH&S (Work Health and Safety)

Also referred to as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), the management of risks to the health and safety of everyone in the workplace including employees, contractors, customers, suppliers and visitors.

Workplace Accident

An unplanned event in the workplace that causes an injury or illness to a person and may also result in damage to property.

Workplace Hazard

Anything that has the potential to cause harm or damage in the workplace to a person, property or the environment.

Workplace Incident

An unplanned event in the workplace that does not lead to injury or illness but may result in damage to property.

Workplace Injury

Any physical or psychological damage caused to a person as a result of a hazard in the workplace.

Workplace Inspection

A regularly scheduled evaluation to identify and report on potential hazards and assess risks and ensure compliance with WHS obligations. A Risk Assessment may need to be completed for any hazards identified.