SNP MP Stewart McDonald has said the UK government is turning a blind eye to the issue of fair work and unpaid trial shifts following answers he got from the Treasury and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department (BEIS).
Stewart McDonald asked the BEIS Minister if it would become Government policy to ban unpaid trial shifts, whilst also asking the Treasury if they would make it HMRC policy to record the number of complaints it receives in regards to unpaid work trials.
The answers revealed that the UK Government are still refusing to enforce an outright ban on unpaid work shifts, and that HMRC cannot even identify the number of complaints received on unpaid work trials.
Stewart McDonald has pledged he would continue the campaign to ban exploitative unpaid trial shifts almost two years after Tory MPs ‘talked out’ his Private Members Bill on the issue at Westminster.
It is is estimated £3billion of wages is lost every year in the UK, with unpaid work trials contributing to this.
Stewart McDonald MP commented:
''These answers exposes once again that the Tory government is turning a blind eye to fair work – despite public opinion being against unpaid work trials.
“Whilst I was pleased to secure new government guidelines on unpaid trials, it is obvious that this is not enough. We need proper legislation to outlaw unpaid trial shifts, or at least mechanisms to record the extent of the problem.
“All people want is to be treated fairly - but all too often those who are desperate for a job are being asked to work for hours, days, or even weeks without any pay, or any guarantee of a job at the end of it.
“It is clear the current law is not working, and the UK government must now commit to changing the law - a fair day’s work deserves a fair day's pay.”