Business English | Pay and Benefits

Audio Episode

What is this episode about?

Learn about the different types of pay and benefits from salaries and wages, to benefits and compensation in this new Business English from English Plus Podcast.

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I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.


Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about business English and we will focus on pay and benefits. We will talk about different kinds of pay and benefits from wages to salary and benefits to different kinds of compensation. So without further ado, let’s start talking about it.

[00:00:26] Wages, salary, and benefits. And I’m going to read to you an account by somebody called Luigi. And from what Luigi says, we’re going to learn a couple of things. And especially of course, a couple of words we can use to describe wages, salary, and benefits. So let’s start first with Luigi and then we will have two different other people.

[00:00:49] My name is Luigi, and I’m a hotel manager in Venice. I get paid a salary every month in summer. We’re very busy. So we do overtime. The pay for this is quite good working in a hotel. We also get some nice perks. So here, Luigi talked about his work. At a hotel and he’s actually the hotel manager, but I’m going to focus on three things he talked about.

[00:01:16] He talked about salary. Now, obviously the word salary is the main word here and there is wages, which we will talk about in a little bit, but salary is usually used to the money you get paid for your work. Every month, once a month. And then Luigi talked about overtime. So he said in summer, we’re very busy.

[00:01:38] So we do overtime and overtime means when you work more than the usual hours. So for example, if you work eight hours a day, sometimes because you have a lot of work, you have to work extra hours. And that is the meaning of overtime, which you usually get paid for. And most of the times the pay is double or is multiplied by one and a half of the usual rate.

[00:02:03] But of course, I will have to say that in some places overtime equals the same rate of the regular hours, but anyway, that’s extra time for extra money. And then he talked about. Nice perks. He said working in a hotel, we also get some nice perks. What is the meaning of perks? Perks are extra things. You get like a free meals, a free something, or maybe you have a gym that you can use or a swimming pool that you can use.

[00:02:33] All of these are extra things and they are usually nice things to have. So people call them Burks. Sometimes, maybe the pay is not great, but there are a lot of great perks in this job or in that job. So here that was Luigi. And here, the first thing we learned about is the word salary. And then we talked about overtime and then we talked about perks.

[00:02:57] Now let’s continue with Ivan. And Ivan works as a waiter in Prague. I’m Ivan. And I work as a waiter in Prague. I like my job, even if I don’t earn very much, I get paid wages every week by the restaurant. We get the minimum wage, but we also get tips. Some tourists are very generous. So here Ivan is talking about his work as a waiter.

[00:03:23] What we want to focus on are the words, earn wages, minimum wage, and tips. So here he said, I don’t earn very much. Now here, when you talk about how much you earn is how much money you make and earn here, we use it because you make this money, you get this money in return of a job. You do. So that is the meaning of earn.

[00:03:46] Now here. He said, I don’t earn very much, so he doesn’t make a lot of money. Right. And he talked about how he gets money. He talks here about wages. Remember when we talked about Luigi, we talked about a salary and we said, a salary is the amount of money you get usually once a month, every month. But the wages are usually given every week.

[00:04:08] So here he gets paid wages every week by the restaurant. And he said, we get the minimum wage. Now, what is the minimum wage? That is the lowest amount allowed by law. And there is a minimum wage for every country in the world. And of course, while some businesses may not respect this minimum wage, which they have to, of course, but at least they have to pay you this minimum wage.

[00:04:33] They cannot pay you lower than that by law. So here they get the minimum wage, which is not a lot of course, but he said we also get tips. And when we talk about tips, we’re talking about the money that customers leave in addition to the bill. So maybe that kind of compensates for the low. Wage they get, which is the minimum wage.

[00:04:54] Obviously it is low. So here we have wages earn minimum wage and tips. And now we’ll move on to talk about Catherine, who is a sales woman in luxury goods. Hi, I’m Catherine and I’m a sales woman in luxury goods based in Paris. I get a basic salary plus commission. If I sell more than a particular amount in a year, I also get a bonus, which is nice.

[00:05:21] There are some good fringe benefits with the job. I get a company car, a BMW. There’s a health plan to pay the costs of medical treatment. If I get ill and the company makes payments for my pension. So with the bonuses, the car, the health plan and the pension, I’ve got a very nice benefits package and the working conditions are good too.

[00:05:45] I have a nice office and I don’t have to travel too much. So here we have quite a few words with what Catherine said. The first thing is a basic salary. Now the basic salary is not like the minimum wage, the minimum wage that is the lowest amount allowed by law. But here this basic salary is the amount set by the company.

[00:06:08] So no matter how your performance is this month, you’re going to get this basic salary. But she said plus commission, because she’s a sales woman, she gets this basic salary plus commission. The commission is a percentage on everything you sell. So that will change from month to month based on your performance.

[00:06:30] So that is commissioned. And then she also talked about a bonus. Now here. She said, if I sell more than a particular amount in a year, I also get a bonus here. Usually for salespeople, they give them a target and they have to reach the Stargate every month. If they reach the target, of course they get their commission.

[00:06:49] If they don’t reach the target, sometimes they don’t get a full commission. It depends on the company, of course, but if they surpass the target and if they sell more than the target, especially if a lot more, they get a bonus and that is extra money, that is not part of your basic salary or commission.

[00:07:08] That is a bonus and extra, which is nice. As she said, And then she talked about some good fringe benefits. Now, some extra benefits. These are not like perks. Perks are nice things to have. The benefits are things like what she said. She gets a company car. Now the company car, some people might call it a perk.

[00:07:29] And some people might call it benefits, but for more serious things, we tend to call them benefits. So here we have the company car, or actually she gets a company car, which is a BMW good for her. And she said there is a health plan to be the costs of medical treatment. If she gets ill. And also the company makes payments for her pension, what is the pension?

[00:07:52] The pension is the money that she will get regularly after she stops working. That is the pension after you retire. So here we have the health plan, the pension and the company card. Now these together are called fringe benefits, and then she continued on and talked about all of these and she called them the benefits package, which is the same thing.

[00:08:13] This is the benefits package she gets from the company. And then she talked about the working conditions and the working conditions are good for her. She said she has a nice office. So the space is nice. She’s not in a cramped cubicle or something. And she doesn’t have to travel too much for some people that might be better for some people they might prefer to travel a lot.

[00:08:35] So it depends on how you think it is on your preference. So the working conditions. Of course there are usual or there are standard good working conditions. If we’re talking about how well lit the working space is how well ventilated, et cetera, the space shouldn’t be cramped or something. But other than that, it’s a matter of preference.

[00:08:57] Like when we said here, she said, I don’t have to travel too much. And that is for her good working conditions. It depends on how you see it. If you like traveling and you don’t mind traveling on business, of course that might be good working conditions for you. So that being said, let me remind you that we talked about the basic salary commission bonus.

[00:09:18] We talked about the fringe benefits. The company car, the health plan, the pension, the benefits package, we call them. And then we talked about the working conditions, or actually we didn’t talk. Catherine talked about that. So now we will move on to talk about compensation, but before we do that, let me remind you that you can find the full transcript of this episode in a link.

[00:09:39] I will leave in the description and that will take you to our website English plus Now. I’m sorry about these couple of days. I’m not creating videos and other stuff that I usually create because I’m moving my workspace. But the definite thing is that you have your episodes every day. And the other perks that come with the episode, like the interactive video and the interactive exercises.

[00:10:02] And so are coming back very soon. I mean, like in a couple of days, so I’m sorry if I don’t have them with these last. Two episodes and maybe tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, but starting from next week, we’ll get back to normal, but definitely you can get the transcript on the website. So take the link and go to our website to read the transcript.

[00:10:20] If you want, now let’s move on and continue talking about. Pay and benefits. And we will focus on compensation. Now, compensation, I will talk about compensation in two different ways. First, the compensation can be simply the pay and conditions. And then we have the compensation when we mean the money that you get when you leave a company, especially if you are forced to leave, but let’s start with the first one.

[00:10:45] And we heard what Catherine said. Catherine mentioned her pay and conditions. We can use remuneration and compensation. These are formal words used to talk about pay and conditions. So we can say pay and conditions or remuneration and compensation. These are more formal words, especially those of senior managers, remuneration package and compensation package are used, especially in the U S to talk about all the pay and benefits that employees receive.

[00:11:16] For a senior executive, this may include share options. And that is in British English or stock options in American English, which is the same thing. And that is the right to buy the company’s shares at low prices. There may be performance related bonuses. If the manager reaches particular objectives for the company.

[00:11:36] So here, let me just remind you again, what we just said. We talked about paying conditions. Actually, we talked about them earlier, but then we said that we have formal words for that. We can say remuneration and compensation. We have the remuneration package, the compensation package. And for senior executives, we can have share options or stock options.

[00:11:59] Share options. Is. British English and stock options. That’s American English, and they can also have performance related bonuses. Now that is the first part of what compensation is, but we have another type of compensation or we can use it to talk about something else. Compensation is also used to talk about money and other benefits that someone receives.

[00:12:22] If they are forced to leave the organization, perhaps after a disagreement with other managers in what newspaper called a boardroom role, this money is in the form of a compensation, payment, or severance payment. If someone also receives benefits with this, the payment and the benefits form, a compensation package or severance package now in Britain executed with very high pay and benefits may be referred to as fat cats implying that they do not deserve this level of remuneration.

[00:12:55] So here again, what are the words that we focused on? We talked about compensation in this sense, which is the money and other benefits that someone receives. If they are forced to leave the organization after a kind of disagreement or whatever that might be, which is called a boardroom RA, that is what newspapers call it anyway.

[00:13:13] And then we talked about the compensation payment or the severance payment, and that is the money that is given to somebody. If they are forced to leave, and if it comes with benefits or with other benefits, we can call it the compensation package and the severance package. And of course, don’t forget about the fat cats.

[00:13:32] We talked about those executives with very high pay and benefits, but that, especially for British English, Now with that being said, that is everything I wanted to share with you about pay and benefits. I hope you learned some interesting words you can use in your own business, English conversations.

[00:13:46] Remember, you can find a link to the show notes in the description of this episode, that will take you to our website English plus Where you will find a lot more than that. You will find interactive videos, interactive activities, and downloadable PDF practice worksheets. Maybe not with this episode, because I explained to you why not with this episode, but with other episodes and starting from Monday, we’ll have everything back to normal.

[00:14:10] If you also like the content we’re creating and you would like to support us by becoming a patron of the show. You can become a patron of English plus podcast on Patreon. There’s also a link to that in the description. You can take the link and support us to create more of the content you love. And with that being said, this is your host, Danny.

[00:14:27] Thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcasts. I will see you next time.


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<a href="" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan


Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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