Glossary beginning with W

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.


War Cabinet search for term

A committee formed by the government during wartime, usually made up of senior politicians and military figures

Welfare State search for term

A system in which the government provides a range of  services to protect the health and well-being of its citizens, including safety nets for those in need. In Britain, this includes income support, unemployment benefit, a national health service, free education, council housing and old age pensions, many of which were first introduced by the Labour government after the Second World War

West search for term

A phrase commonly referring to a group of countries, including North America and much of Europe, which have well-developed economies and are thought to share a similar culture and civilisation. See also global north and global south

White Australia Immigration Policy search for term

Various Australian government policies that favoured immigration to Australia by white people from certain countries, particularly Britain and other northern European countries. The policies were officially dismantled over a period of 25 years between from 1949 and 1975.

White-Collar Work search for term

Work that is not manual or industrial, but likely to be done in an office, such as administrative or financial work.

Winter of Discontent search for term

During the cold winter of 1978–79, protests at the Labour government’s years of pay restraint led to widespread strikes by public and private sector workers, paralysing many private services including lorry drivers and car workers as well as public services including rubbish collectors, grave diggers and health and education employees. It ultimately led to the defeat of Prime Minister James Callaghan, and the election of a Conservative party government under Margaret Thatcher, in May 1979.

Women’s Liberation Movement search for term

A collective movement, developed in the 1960s and 1970s, which campaigned for social and political equality between women and men.

Working Age Population search for term

The total population within a set range of ages, for example 18-65, which is normally considered to be legally able and likely to work.

Working Class search for term

The group of people employed for lower wages, traditionally in manual or industrial work, and in jobs that are seen as requiring less skill and education. The term often also includes unemployed people. Also see Social Class.

Working Hours search for term

The time that an individual spends at paid work. In the UK and the rest of the European Union, workers are entitled to work a maximum of 48 hours a week. However, UK workers can agree to work more than this maximum number of hours.