Tories Kill Bill to End Unpaid Trial Shifts

An important private members bill lodged by SNP MP Stewart McDonald to ban unpaid trial shifts has been talked out by Conservative MPs. The bill, which would end the horrific practice of vulnerable workers providing free labour, had the backing of the STUC, the campaigning group Better Than Zero, and the Labour Party.

McDonald said to the BBC yesterday:

"People are being asked to try out for jobs that don't exist. Companies are just trying to cover staff absences in other parts of the business. This is about ending that exploitation and empowering applicants and making sure there is dignity throughout the process.”

The Conservative Business Minister Andrew Griffiths talked out the bill at its second reading. He made the highly spurious claim that the bill would make work experience illegal and prevent employers from seeing whether workers had the skills to do the job. What he failed to address was that this bill is targeted at the fake jobs being advertised by companies - like B&M - which then profit from unpaid labour in order to cover staff shortages.

Shadow Business Minister Alan Whitehead said that the bill was rooted in the principle of ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.’  Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney said that this bill was about defining and eliminating the type of exploitative trials you find in casualised sectors.


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