Stewart McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, has called on the Government to change the law and ban unpaid work trials, following a debate in the House of Commons.
The SNP MP said 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.
Closing the debate, Kelly Tolhurst MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, refused to commit to further legislation on unpaid work trials.
Following the debate, Stewart McDonald MP said:
"It is clear from today’s debate that this Tory Government cannot get a grip on unpaid work, which will continue to be a scourge on our society.
“Their current guidance on unpaid work trials is too vague and does not go far enough in protecting vulnerable workers.
“All people want is to be treated fairly - but 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.
“There is huge public support for a ban on unpaid trial shifts, and I am clear that the campaign to change the law and improve workers’ rights will continue. A fair day’s work deserves a fair day's pay.
“The UK Government must commit to changing the law, or devolve employment law powers to the Scottish Parliament so that we can do it ourselves.“