Full-time: employment at or above a certain number of hours. In most places, full-time work means either 30+ or 40+ hours per week.


Part-time: employed for or occupying only part of the typical working day or week.


Temporary employment: a limited period of time, approximately several weeks or months, perhaps covering for someone sick or on a leave period.


Casual employment: an employee is only guaranteed work when needed, and there is no expectation that there will be more work in the future. 


Freelance: working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company.


Self-employed: working for oneself as a freelancer or a business owner rather than for an employer. 


Remote employee: someone who is employed by a company but works outside of a traditional office environment. That location can be your bedroom floor, a home office, or your favorite cafe.


Fixed-term employment: a contract in which an enterprise hires an employee for a specific period of time, but the employee is not on the company’s payroll. Usually, the contract is for a year but can be renewed after the term expires, depending on the requirement. 


Outsourced: a company hires a third party to perform tasks, handle operations or provide services for the company.


Zero-hour contract: a type of employment contract whereby the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum number of working hours to the employee. This is typical in fast food chains when the employee might get 10 hours one week and 15 the next, but this is at the choice of the management.


Project-based: employed for a period of time until a project is completed, and then you wait to see what is offered or move on to the next project.


Flextime: a system of working a set number of hours with the employee’s starting and finishing times chosen within agreed limits.


Shift work: work comprising set periods of time, and different groups of workers perform their duties at other times of the day and night, for example, nurses, cops, firefighters.


Overtime pay: money earned at an increased rate for working more than the usual number of hours in one week.


Holiday pay: any form of paid time off, such as a government-declared holiday, maternity leave, or sick time off.


A wage paid by the day: the amount of money earned for one day’s work.


Working conditions: things that will affect the quality of your work (working hours, rest periods, work schedules, quality of your working space, sick pay, etc.)


Benefits: items and services offered by a company on top of monetary compensation, for example, medical insurance, dental insurance, retirement benefits, disability insurance, paid time off.


Wage continuation: any payment that consists of the same wage amount and employee benefit package that is paid to an individual when services are no longer being performed as was paid when services were being performed.


Pay slip: a note given to an employee when they have been paid, detailing the amount of pay given, and the tax and insurance deducted.


Redundancy pay: the amount of money received to compensate for being asked to leave (made redundant) because your job is no longer needed.


Unemployment benefits: payments made by the state to an unemployed person who meets the required conditions.


Internship: a temporary work program offered by an organization to an individual, often a student or recent graduate, looking to build experience or skills in a particular field.


Apprenticeship: a fixed period of time during which an apprentice is trained.


Sick leave: absence because of illness.


Pink slip: a notice of dismissal from employment.


Employee roster: a schedule with a list of employees, and associated working times and/or responsibilities for a given time period, for example, week, month, or season.


Skeleton-staff: the minimum number of employees needed to operate a business during a vacation, weekend, or other period when people do not normally work, or full staffing is not necessary, for example, Sundays or public holidays.



Wage: a fixed regular payment, typically paid on a daily or weekly basis, made by an employer to an employee, especially to a manual or unskilled worker.

Occupation: a job or profession.

Overtime: time in addition to what is normal, as time worked beyond one’s scheduled working hours.

Free time: time available for hobbies and other activities that you enjoy.

Negotiation: discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.



Hurry up

“You must hurry up, or you’ll be late today.”

Contract out

“They got a contract out on me!”

Hold of

“John worked as a bank economist as well as continuing to hold the position of vice-president.”

Deal with

“I’m not sure how to deal with my manager.”

Have to do with

“My question has to do with last week’s assignment.”



Bang-up job: very good or excellent work.

Dead-end job: a job where you don’t see any opportunity for growth, getting a promotion, or building a successful career.

Golden handshake: a big payment made to people when they leave their job.

Golden parachute: a large payment made to a senior company executive who has been forced to leave their job.

Nine-to-five: used to describe work that begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m., usually from Monday to Friday. The term generally implies a stable job in an office.