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Banning of unpaid work trials

Volume 684: debated on Wednesday 18 November 2020

I thank my constituent Ellen Reynolds for her actions in bringing the petition together. She has experienced what it is like to work a so-called trial shift and not to get paid. She does not want anyone else to go through that. Her e-petition on the parliamentary website has more than 7,000 signatures. I hope there will be more, so that we get a Government response, a debate and perhaps even action to stop that unscrupulous practice.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of Glasgow North,

Declares that unpaid trial shifts are open to exploitation and can be used by unscrupulous employers to take advantage of vulnerable people looking for a job; further that often unpaid trials are for minimum wage jobs and the people applying for them cannot afford to work for free but may have no other option; further that unpaid trial shift workers may also have to incur the cost of travelling to and from the trial shift as well as procuring a uniform; further that potential employees may feel as though they cannot say no to exploitative trials without risking their future livelihood; and further that it is unfair to force someone to work for hours without pay, and incur additional costs, for a job they might not even get.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take action and ban all unpaid work trials.

And the petitioners remain, etc.