An SNP MP has renewed calls to ban unpaid trial shifts following Government statistics showing 208 employers owed £1.2million in unpaid wages, with unpaid trials shifts contributing to this.
Following a recent release from the UK Government, Stewart McDonald MP asked the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many employers were named and fined; how many people were paid back; and what amount of wages were recovered as a result of unpaid trial shifts at the outset of employment.
The answer stated that 208 employers were named for failing to pay £1.2m to around 12,000 workers. Unpaid working time, which can include unpaid trial shifts, was a factor in 29% of these cases.
Stewart McDonald MP, who has long campaigned against unpaid trial shifts, said:
"The UK Government continues to claim that current enforcement against unpaid work trials is robust enough, yet we continue to see some employers taking advantage of people through unpaid trial shifts.
"Whilst I welcome that Government has recognised the problem, any action being taken will only be for those cases that workers have made the Government aware of - too many will continue to slip under the radar.
"The culture of unpaid work is a scourge on society and the UK Government must show its willingness to tackle this exploitative practice.
"The only way to ensure that this unfair practice is brought to an end is for the UK Government to support legislation that would ban unpaid trial shifts outright - a fair days work deserves a fair days pay."