To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) trade unions and (b) employees on the potential merits of banning the use of unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.
21 March 2022
The Government regularly speaks to stakeholders including trade unions, on a wide range of employment issues. If someone has undertaken an unpaid work trial and thinks they should have been paid NMW, they can call the ACAS helpline or use the online helpline tool for free, confidential advice about their rights and entitlements. If they want to make a complaint through HMRC, they can do so in complete confidence.
Unpaid work trials that are exploitative are already against the law. When recruiting, an employer can ask an individual to carry out a short unpaid work trial to demonstrate that they have the skills required for the job. But if a work trial is excessively long, or not part of a genuine recruitment purpose, employers must pay participants at least the legal minimum wage.