Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Unpaid trial workers at risk of exploitation over Christmas, says MP

A SNP MP has warned that the Tory government’s stubborn refusal to ban unpaid trial shifts has left Christmas workers at an increased and unnecessary risk of exploitation.

Stewart McDonald MP, said the UK government’s ‘tin ear’ decision to block his Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill last year, and its subsequent failure to act, had allowed the exploitative practice to continue unchecked.

Stewart McDonald has called on the UK government to bring forward its own legislation to prevent unscrupulous employers from asking job applicants work for hours, days, or even weeks without any payment or guarantee of a job.

The SNP MPs campaign has received wide cross-party support, the backing of leading organisations including the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), and a public petition with over 140,000 signatures.

Commenting, Stewart McDonald MP said: “The UK government’s stubborn refusal to ban unpaid trial shifts, despite all the evidence of their damaging impact, has left many vulnerable workers out of pocket and open to exploitation.

“A fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. It cannot be right that as the law stands unscrupulous employers can require job applicants to work hours, days or even weeks without any payment whatsoever or any guarantee of a job at the end of it.

“Since blocking my bill, the Tory government has had many months to bring forward its own legislation but has failed to do so – allowing this exploitative practice to continue unchecked and leaving workers’ rights lagging behind.

“With thousands of job-seekers looking for temporary and long-term work over the Christmas and New Year period the Tories are leaving workers at increased and unnecessary risk of exploitation.

“If the UK government is unwilling to take action itself – it should devolve the powers to the Scottish Parliament so the SNP Government can get on with the job and boost workers’ rights in Scotland.”

Disclaimer: This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP). Images added by Welfare Weekly.

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