On Friday I attended the House of Commons to vote in favour of the Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill. Disappointingly, rather than support the Bill, the Conservative Government decided to talk the Bill out meaning that there was not an opportunity for MPs to vote on the Bill.
It is unlikely that the Bill will now return to the House of Commons. However, if the Bill does return, I will continue to support it.
I know that this important issue will be of concern to many people in our area. I believe that unpaid trial shifts are exploitative to workers. If people undertake work during a trial period they should be fairly and properly paid.
I note that around 140,000 people have signed a petition calling for MPs to support the Bill. I also note that last year over 41,000 people signed a petition that successfully called for Mooboo Bubble Tea shops to pay those working trial shifts, following reports that the company required staff to work a 40-hour unpaid trial, with no guarantee of a job after that.
Last year, research from the University of Middlesex identified unpaid induction and trial shifts as one of several types of unpaid work that contribute to an estimated £1.2 billion of wages denied to workers every year. I am concerned that this is an example of an imbalance of power between employers and employees in the UK workplace that has led to the proliferation of low wage jobs and employers avoiding paying workers fairly.
I can assure you that I back this Bill and will continue to support an end to unfair and exploitative trial shifts.