Tuesday, 05 February 2019 00:41

CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE LEGISLATION TO BAN UNPAID WORK TRIALS

SNP DEBATE INCREASES PRESSURE ON TORY MINISTERS

A SNP MP has called on the UK government to bring forward its own legislation to prevent unscrupulous employers from asking job applicants to work without any payment or guarantee of a job.

Stewart McDonald MP will say that the UK government’s decision to block his Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill last year, and its subsequent failure to act, had allowed the exploitative practice to continue unchecked.

Stewart McDonald’s bill sought to end the practice of employers asking job applicants to work for hours, days, or even weeks without any payment or guarantee of a job at the end of it. Despite wide cross-party support for the bill, a public petition with over 140,000 signatures, and the backing of leading organisations including the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), the UK government prevented the bill from going to a vote.

If passed, the bill would have established in law what constitutes a trial work period, ensured that those on trial work periods are paid at least the minimum wage, and set requirements for employers, including making clear how many positions are available, providing a copy of the job description, and introducing a requirement for feedback. It would also have made provision to challenge those in breach of the law.

Unpaid trial shifts contribute to an estimated £3billion in lost wages in the UK every year. Following today’s debate, the SNP has called on the UK government to change the law or devolve powers over employment law to the Scottish Parliament so that the SNP can introduce legislation in Scotland.

Commenting, Stewart McDonald MP said:

“The culture of unpaid work is a scourge on society and the UK Government has to get a grip and make it clear that this practice should be banned outright – no ifs, no buts.

“I’m pleased to secure this debate and continue the fight against unpaid work trials - an exploitative practice that continues to blight our employment sector. I am clear in the view that work must always pay.

“Whilst the Government has finally acknowledged that unpaid work trials are prevalent across the board through their new guidance, it does not go far enough in protecting vulnerable workers.

“The Government is still clearly of the view that unpaid work trials should be permitted, and, despite saying such trials should last no longer than one day, the guidance is too vague in protecting workers should they fall victim to longer unpaid trials. The Government should back my proposals to ban unpaid work trials, and legislate for this immediately.”

ENDS

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to editors:

UK Government – Calculating the Minimum Wage Guidance – Unpaid Work Trials (p20-21). Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/761129/Calculating_the_minimum_wage_guidance_dec_2018.pdf

Read 309 times

Monthly Archive

Donate by Paypal

     If you would like to support Helensburgh SNP please donate by clicking on the button below

Helensburgh SNP Easyfundraising

true


Did you know that whenever you buy anything online –  you could be raising a free donation for Helensburgh SNP?
There are nearly 3,000 retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, who will donate a percentage of the amount you spend to Helensburgh SNP. It’s really simple, and doesn’t cost you anything. All you have to do to join is: Click Here

Facebook

Helensburgh Foodbank

Foodbank
https://www.helensburghlomondfoodbank.org/

Cartons of Long Life Milk, Packets of 1kg Rice, Packets of 500g Pasta, Jars of Pasta Sauce, Tins of Baked Beans, Tins of Vegetables, Tins of Fruit, Boxes of 80 and 160 Teabags, Boxes of Cuppa Soup, Boxes of Breakfast Cereal Bars