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Unpaid Work

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 49181, tabled on 7 September 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of banning unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.

Answered on

22 September 2022

Existing legislation already bans unpaid work trials that are not part of a legitimate recruitment process. They are not permitted if they are simply for the financial benefit of the employer or excessive in length. An unpaid trial lasting more than one day is highly likely to be illegal in all but very exceptional circumstances.

It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure they are paying their staff correctly and we will continue to take robust enforcement action against employers who fail to pay the minimum wage. Since 2015 we have ordered employers to repay £100 million of unpaid wages to 1 million workers.

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