Stewart McDonald MP has slammed the Government’s “frustrating” muddled minimum wage policy for people who undertake unpaid work trials and called for new legislation to ban the practice.
Following questions to the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the answers revealed that the UK Government are still refusing an outright ban on unpaid work trials, or say if the Department will name, shame and fine businesses for conducting unpaid work trials.
In response, the MP for Glasgow South, who has long campaigned for a ban on unpaid work trials, has now furthered his calls for legislation that would see trialists paid for the work they do.
It is estimated £3billion of wages is lost every year in the UK, with unpaid work trials contributing to this.
Commenting, Stewart McDonald said:
“It is extremely frustrating that the Government’s muddled minimum wage policy does not make it clear whether everyone undertaking work trials should be paid or if businesses will be punished for conducting unpaid trials. Once again, this issue not taken seriously by the Tory Government.
“Whilst I was pleased to secure new government guidelines on unpaid trials, it is obvious that this is not enough, and the only way to truly fix the problem is to ban this outdated practice.
“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.”
Notes to editor