UK Government must take a stand on exploited workers
Posted on December 14 2017 at 09:30
Campaigning MP Stewart
McDonald has said the UK government must take a stand on exploited workers, and
support his Bill to end unpaid trial shifts.
In Prime Minister’s
Questions, the SNP MP said employers will sometimes use unpaid trial shifts to
cover staff shortages – with no intention of offering employment.
Mr McDonald has put forward a Private Members’ Bill to bring to an end the
common practice of employers offering unpaid shifts to people looking for work
- with no guarantee of paid work at the end.
The MP has written to all Members of Parliament, calling for their support for
the Bill, which will be debated in March 2018.
The Glasgow South MP’s Private Members’ Bill has been backed by the Scottish
Trades Union Congress (STUC), the National Union of Students (NUS), the Better
Than Zero campaign and the Daily Record.
A study by Middlesex University and Trust for London, Unpaid Britain (2017),
estimates that workers are missing out on £1.2billion in wages - with unpaid
trial shifts contributing towards this.
Stewart McDonald MP said:
“The Prime Minister’s response was not good enough – she needs to support my
campaign and her government needs to back my Bill to stop workers being
“Unpaid trial shifts are common practice across the UK. However, they are
exploitative and take unfair advantage of people genuinely seeking work.
“Over the Christmas period, it is increasingly likely you’ll be served in a
shop or a restaurant by someone working an unpaid trial shift.
“The private member’s Bill I have brought forward has received the support of
the STUC, NUS, and the Better than Zero campaign – who are to be commended for
the excellent work they have done in documenting and challenging exploitative
work practices in different industries.
“All work should be paid fairly and properly, which is why the practice of
exploitative, unpaid trial shifts must come to a long overdue end.”