Should your boss really be saying that to you?

10 things your boss shouldn't say to you in the workplace.

At Citizens Advice Stockport we help people solve their problems and during 2017/18 we dealt with over 1,100 issues around employment and work, but in our experience it’s the same work issues that come up, time and time again; not getting the right pay, being refused sick or holiday pay, and disciplinary.

People in insecure work are particularly vulnerable — that’s people who work through agencies, and through who are on temporary contracts or zero hour contracts. They often find it harder to prove what hours they have worked, and it is harder to work out what rights they have if they need time off.

It is important to understand that employers do make mistakes and this can be forgiven but unfortunately, while helping people we have also seen our fair share of bad bosses.

These are people who find excuses for not paying staff properly, deny them their rights or take advantage of the confusion around workers’ rights for their own gain.

Spotting the excuses bad bosses use is the first step to being treated fairly. Here are some of the most common.

1. “You work for us, but you’ll need to pay your own national insurance contributions.”

2. “We can’t afford to pay you any more — you’ll have to go self-employed.”

These are signs of ‘bogus self employment’. This saves employers money as they don’t pay national insurance on your wage. This practice helps bad bosses avoid paying you minimum wage, holiday pay, sick pay or maternity pay too.

3. “Your disability means you don’t do as much work as others, so we’re not going to pay you minimum wage.”

4. “You were travelling between clients — so we didn’t pay you for those hours.”

Every employee should get national minimum wage, and you should be paid for all the time you spend at work.

5. “You’re pregnant? Great! But we’re worried you won’t cope so we’re cutting your hours.”

6. “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.

7. “We don’t have to pay you redundancy pay because you’re on a zero hours contract.”

Wrong — some zero hours workers are entitled to redundancy pay.

8. “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 — you shouldn’t be asked to use leave.

9. “You work through an agency, so you don’t get sick pay.”

10 .“We took you off the rota, so we don’t owe you sick pay.”

If you’ve agreed to work the hours and you’ve been absent long enough to qualify, you should get sick pay. Agency workers should be paid by the agency.

You can come to Citizens Advice Stockport if you think you’ve been treated unfairly at work.