10 things employers say to mislead workers about their rights

by | 18 September 2017 | Citizens Advice, Retford, Worksop

Asking people to go self-employed to keep their jobs, telling agency staff they don’t get sick pay and suggesting pregnant staff cut their hours are among the things some employers say to try and find ways around workers’ rights, Citizens Advice can reveal.

The charity has identified 10 common things that some employers say to try and mislead people about their rights. In the 12 months to April, 180,000 people came to Citizens Advice for help with a problem at work and its online employment advice pages were viewed 9.3 million times.
People were most likely to approach the charity for advice on:

  • Pay and entitlements, such as sick pay
  • Contract terms and conditions, such as whether they were workers or self-employed
  • Dismissal

All employees are entitled to basic rights such as national minimum wage, sick pay, holiday pay and fair treatment during pregnancy. However, issues such as contract types and unclear employment status can leave workers unsure about what they’re entitled to, and allow unscrupulous employers to find ways of depriving them of pay and protections.

10 things your boss shouldn’t say
If you hear any of these, get advice:

  • You work for us, but you’ll need to pay your own national insurance contributions.
  • We can’t afford to pay you any more — you’ll have to go self-employed.
  • Your disability means you don’t do as much work as others, so we’re not going to pay you minimum wage.
  • You were traveling between clients — so we didn’t pay you for those hours.
  • You’re pregnant? Great! But we’re worried you won’t cope so we’re cutting your hours.
  • You’re having a baby next year? We’ll need to take you off that important project now.
  • We don’t have to pay you redundancy pay because you’re on a zero hours contract.”
  • We need to close for the next two days for stock taking, so you’ll need to take holiday.
  • You work through an agency, so you don’t get sick pay.
  • We took you off the rota, so we don’t owe you sick pay.

Citizens Advice top tips for tackling problems at work: keep evidence, talk to your boss, have a more formal discussion and get advice .

For information and advice, contact Citizens Advice Bassetlaw on their telephone service, 03444 111 444. A drop-in service is available at the Worksop office based in The Annexe, Queens Building, Potter Street, Worksop (next to the Savoy Cinema) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9.30am to 3.00pm and on Fridays from 9.30am to 1.00pm and at the Retford outreach office, 17b The Square, Retford on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.00am to 2.00pm.