Several MPs led by SNP MP Stewart McDonald are proposing that unpaid trial shifts should be banned and made illegal.

The Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill seeks to make all unpaid trial shifts (used primarily to determine whether or not a prospective employee has the necessary requirements for a position) illegal and suggest that potential staff should be at the very least offered minimum wage for any work undertaken.

Should the bill be passed, employers will need to detail exactly how many roles are available, agree to provide feedback following the trial, provide a job description and inform all applicants how long the trial period will last.

The bill has received huge support, including from the likes of Union Unite who state that within the hospitality section there were several organisations using trial shifts regularly, even one forcing new employees to carry out 40 hours of training.

MP Stewart McDonald claimed that the current law around trials shifts was ineffective and businesses were abusing the legislation to just try and “cover staff absences” by offering jobs that simply don’t exist.

The bill received its second reading on the 16th March.

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