MPs are calling for a 'blanket' ban on businesses asking prospective staff to work for free as a trial.
What it means: Trial shifts are really common in the 'service industry' – that's bar work, waitressing, shops etc. It allows the business to see you've got the skills they need, before they commit to hiring you. But if you agree to one, you're working for free. According to the Unite, more and more prospective employees are complaining to them about about trial shifts.
MPs are saying that businesses are using trial shifts as a way of getting free labour, including to cover absences. Employees are reporting being given the duties of a paid member of staff, and say that when for jobs is high, you feel like you don't have the option to challenge someone who might give you a job at the end.
The ban would outlaw any ambiguity, but until it's decided on, the legal advice is to outline the terms of the trial shift before it begins, and question anything over a few hours.
It’s not just about what you do, it’s where you do it. Workplaces can create and cut jobs, borrow money and interact with the financial market, and buy and sell products from other workplaces, affecting their financial situations. There’s also the question of whether our workplaces should be taking care of us, or whether that’s the government’s job…