Alyn Smith MP has backed a campaign to ban unpaid trial shifts, organised by a Glasgow student who worked a 5-hour trial shift without pay.
Ellen Reynolds was asked to undertake the unpaid trial in a Bearsden restaurant, and has not heard back from the business afterwards. She has since started a parliamentary petition to have the wider issue of unpaid shifts raised in the House of Commons.
Whilst not explicitly banned if part of a ‘genuine recruitment process’, unpaid trial shifts are unfortunately all too common in several industries, including hospitality. Applicants are often further out of pocket through travel expenses for the unpaid shift, and if they have to pay for their own uniform.
Ellen’s petition is currently live on the UK parliamentary petition website. Once it reaches 10,000 signatures, the government must respond. 100,000 signatures means the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
MP Alyn Smith said:
‘Ellen’s story sadly won’t be the first instance of unpaid trial shifts being abused, and it certainly won’t be the last unless there’s a tightening of existing employment law. Job trials allow employers to check an applicant’s skills and abilities, and that remains a fair part of the recruitment process – but work should be paid.
I’m very happy to support Ellen’s petition and campaign, and urge anyone in Stirling with similar experiences to get behind her.’
A link to the petition: