Many employers understand the rights of the people they employ and treat them as the law requires. However, we do not live in a perfect world and many do not.
Citizens Advice has identified the ten most common misleading statements made by employers
- “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.”
Employers don’t pay national insurance contributions for self-employed workers – nor do they need to pay minimum wage, holiday pay, sick pay or maternity pay. Check your employment status – if you think you are an employee, ask to be treated like one. Citizens Advice can help with this.
- “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.”
Every employee is entitled to the national minimum wage and to be paid for all the time spent at work. HMRC can help resolve problems with underpayment – Citizens Advice can guide you on next steps.
- “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.”
Your working arrangements during pregnancy should stay the same unless you ask for a change – any changes imposed on you are discrimination. Let your boss know that you want to continue work as normal, and if they insist on changes get advice.
- “We don’t have to pay you redundancy pay because you’re on a zero hours contract.”
Some workers engaged on a zero hours contract are entitled to redundancy pay. You need to have been working for your employer for two years or more, usually doing at least one shift a week. Citizens Advice can help you work out if you qualify.
- “We need to close for the next two days for stock taking, so you’ll need to take holiday.”
If your employer needs you to take holiday, they should give you twice as much notice as the length of holiday needed. If you aren’t given proper notice, you should be paid and not asked to use leave.
- “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.”
Agency workers should be paid sick pay by their agency. If you’ve already agreed to work the hours and you’ve been absent long enough to qualify, you should get sick pay.
Taking on your employer can be difficult so,
- keep hold of letters, payslips, emails and texts, and keep a record of conversations you’ve had which could be used to support your case.
- talk to your boss – problems may arise from honest mistakes or misunderstanding the law.
If you don’t feel confident or you’re still not getting anywhere, talk to Citizens Advice, your Trade Union or to ACAS. You can contact Citizens Advice about your employment rights or to get information and advice on Benefits, Work, Consumer Issues, Relationships, Housing, Law and Rights, Education, Discrimination, Tax and Healthcare by:
- calling 0344 848 7969 to speak to an assessor or make an appointment to talk to an adviser face-to face. (calls to this service cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers included as part of a mobile allowance or a landline call package.
- visiting https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/to access our comprehensive range of information and advice,
- or follow us on Twitter @WaverleyCAB