Employment Law Glossary - A to M

Claim Now

To ensure we give you the most tailored advice regarding your data breach enquiry, we kindly request that you complete our specialised enquiry form. You can access the form
by clicking on the following button: Click here

Click here to return to the previous window

The technical language of employment law may be difficult to understand at times, so if you don't know your form COT 3 from your COT 4 or the difference between mitigation and mediation, then this is the glossary for you.

For more information and legal advice from some of the top employment lawyers in Scotland call Thompsons today.  For N to Z, click here.


AC - Appeal case

ACAS - Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Organisation who mediate in Employment Tribunal claims and offer an independent, impartial conciliation service.

Actual dismissal - When an employer has terminated a contract of employment.

Adjournment - A hearing which has started, but which is put off to another day.

Affidavit  - A formal sworn statement before a solicitor which can be used in legal proceedings.

Affirm - Before giving evidence witnesses must either swear an oath to tell the truth, or affirm to tell the truth.

Appellant - Party who appeals against a judgement.



Basic award - An award in unfair dismissal claim which is calculated in exactly the same way as a redundancy payment.

Breach of contract - Where a binding agreement is not honoured by one or more of the parties to the contract by non-performance/interference with the other party's performance under the contract.



CA - Court of Appeal

CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau

CAC - Central Arbitration Committee

CAS - Citizens Advice Scotland

CBI - Confederation of British Industry

COET - Central Office of the Employment Tribunals

COIT - Central Office of the Industrial Tribunals now COET

COT3 - Agreement form to settle a claim through ACAS

COT4 - Agreement form to withdraw claim through ACAS

CRE - Commission for Racial Equality now EHRC

CS - Court of Session

Case law - Previously decided cases relied on by a party in support of a legal argument, as opposed to relying solely on legislation as in "authorities" above.

Case list - A list of the individuals involved in the events on which a claim is based.

Claimant - An individual or organisation who has presented a complaint to an Employment Tribunal.

Comparator - An employee who has been treated better or more favourably that a Claimant.

Compensatory award - Compensation for loss of net earnings after being unfairly dismissed over a specific period of time.

Compromise (now Settlement) agreement - A contract between an employer and employee which is regulated by statute, under which the employee receives a negotiated financial sum in exchange for agreeing not to take legal action against the employer as a result of any breach of a statutory obligation by the employer.

Conciliation - Means of negotiation to settle a claim.

Consolidate - Two (or more) related cases heard together.

Constructive dismissal - Resignation in response to a fundamental breach of contract.

Contract of employment - A legally binding agreement between employer and employee.

Contributory factor - Where an employee's conduct has added to a dismissal which could result in an award being reduced.

Contributory fault - Culpable conduct by an employee that has contributed to a dismissal.

Cross-examination – The questioning of witnesses in order to challenge the witness's evidence.



Dependant leave - Time off to provide assistance when a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted, or to make arrangements for the provision of care for a dependant who is ill or injured, or as a consequence of the death of a dependant, or because of the unexpected disruption or termination of arrangements for the care of a dependant, or to deal with an incident which involves a child of the employee, and which occurs unexpectedly in a period during which an educational establishment which the child attends is responsible for the child.

Direct discrimination - Treating an employee unfavourably on a prohibited ground, for example, because of age, disability, race, sex etc.

Discrimination - Detriment on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief, sex or marital status, gender etc., or sexual orientation.

Dismissal - Termination of a contract with or without notice, or the expiry of a fixed-term contract, or a constructive dismissal due to a fundamental breach of contract. Detriment occurs when on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief, sex or marital status, gender etc., or sexual orientation. i.e treating an employee unfavourably on a prohibited ground, for example, because of age, disability, race, sex etc.



ET1 - Form used to present a complaint to an Employment Tribunal.

ET3 - Form used to respond to a complaint to an Employment Tribunal.

Effective date of termination - The day on which the employment is terminated.

Employment Appeal Tribunal - The body that hears appeals from the Employment Tribunals.

Employment Judge - The individual from a legal background who chairs an Employment Tribunal.

Employment Tribunal - Judicial body who resolve disputes between employers and employees (or trade unions) over employment rights.

Evidence - Information that helps prove a case.

Extempore - A judgement given at the end of a hearing.



Fixed-term contract - A contract which will expire after a fixed period of time, or the completion of a specific task or tasks.



Garden leave - Period when an employee who is under notice is not required to work during the notice period.



HC - High Court

HL - House of Lords (now Supreme Court)

HMRC - HM Revenue and Customs

HSE - Health and Safety Executive

HR1 - Form to notify the Secretary of State of a proposal to dismiss 20 or more employees as redundant.

Hearsay evidence - Evidence given by a witness regarding a statement which was made by another person.



ICR - Industrial Cases Reports

ILJ - Industrial Law Journal

IRLB - Industrial Relations Law Bulletin

IRLR - Industrial Relations Law Report

IT - Industrial Tribunal now ET

Inference - A conclusion drawn from established facts.



JR - Judicial Review

Judgement - A decision issued by a Court or Employment Tribunal.

Jurisdiction - The right and power to apply the law.



KB - King's Bench



Legal Services Commission - The body that administers public funding for legal advice and representation.

Legislation - Law enacted by an Act of Parliament, or Statutory Instrument (or European Instrument).

Limitation period - The period of time in which an Employment Tribunal claim must be submitted. This is normally three calendar months, less one day. If a claim is not received within this time, it will normally be time barred.



Maternity rights - Rights to time off for ante-natal care, protection from detriment, or discrimination, maternity leave and pay, or maternity allowance, and the right to return to work after maternity leave.

Mediation - Means of reaching agreement in a dispute when assisted by a third party via generally a confidential process.

Misconceived - With no foundation, or no reasonable prospect of success.

Misconduct - Intolerable behaviour in the workplace.

Mitigation - Legal duty to mitigate loss of employment by looking for alternative work, or by setting up in business.


For N to Z, click here.

Injured through no fault of your own?
Call us on
To see how much you could claim
Compensation Specialists
Our offices and meeting places
Talk to Thompsons
Claim Now