SNP MP Stewart McDonald has called on the UK Government to announce a full ban on unpaid work trials after a Jersey Employment Tribunal ruled a woman should be paid for a trial shift, after she didn't get a job as a kitchen porter.
Ruby’s in Jersey appealed, but lost, and were ordered to pay the woman £30 for the three hours work she completed as part of her trial shift.
Following the case, lawyers have claimed that this decision means future claims of a similar nature are more likely to succeed.
The SNP MP, who presented the Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill last year seeking 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, has now written to the Minister responsible for Small Businesses, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, calling on the Government to ensure all work trial periods will be paid for following the ruling.
Commenting, Stewart McDonald MP said:
“This ruling makes it clear that all unpaid work trials should be illegal, and the Government must now announce that all work trials will be paid going forward.
“Cases like this were precisely why I introduced a Private Members Bill – the Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill - that aimed to ban unpaid trial shifts.
“Since the Bill was talked out, the Tory government has released new guidance on unpaid work trials, but it is not legally binding and is too vague in protecting workers should they fall victim to unpaid trials.
"If people are going to be offered a trial period where they apply their skills in the hope of securing work then they should be paid fairly and properly.
“Given the outcome of this case, and the lawyer’s opinion of rulings on similar cases in the future, the UK Government must now, unequivocally, make it clear that all unpaid work trials are illegal, and ensure that all work trials will be paid for – there is no excuse now.
“It is crucial those seeking a job never have to worry about exploitation and loss of wages ever again.”