Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill

March 2018

The Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill is a Private Member's Bill, which was presented to the House of Commons by the Scottish National Party's (SNP's) Stewart Malcolm McDonald.

Businesses are encouraged to agree payment or expense for a trial shift in advance. This way, potential employees can enter into a contract with the employer and thus have the right to be paid anything that is agreed.

The UK's flexible labour market gives our businesses a competitive advantage internationally, and works for the majority of the population. That said, exploitation is unacceptable and the Government has provided more support to crack down on unfair practices.

More broadly, I am encouraged that, in response to the Matthew Taylor review, new measures will be introduced to prevent undercutting by unscrupulous employers who try to game the system, by clearly defining who is employed and who is not. I also welcome that the Government will take further action to ensure unpaid interns are not doing the job of a worker, as well as requiring employers to clearly set out written terms from day one of the employment relationship, and to extend that to all workers.

I am also pleased that the UK has a legal position in relation to the payment of the national minimum wage (NMW) which ensures that people are paid for the work they do.