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


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.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“Bad bosses are denying people their rights, often for their own gain.

“People with complex work arrangements or those whose circumstances change can be unsure about their rights, with unscrupulous employers using the opportunity to mislead them about how they should be treated.

“Anyone who is being refused pay and protections should seek advice straight away, to help them clarify their rights and how they can raise the issue with their boss.


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