The use of unpaid trial shifts by large companies is a practice that is open to exploitation by unscrupulous employers. These trials are particularly used to employ young people who can feel pressured into accepting these kinds of practices.
There are concerns that trial shifts are in fact not trials at all, but rather means of employers getting unpaid labour from workers with no intention of subsequently offering them a job when the trial is over. Moreover, it is likely that in some instances a carousel of trials are being used to avoid offering contracts to staff and to fill gaps in the workforce in times of high demand.
This is completely unacceptable. If you do a fair day’s work, you should expect a fair day’s pay, and your employment should be supported by a legally-enforceable contract of employment. It is Labour Party policy to ban these unpaid trial periods, along with strengthening workers’ rights, such as banning zero-hours contracts, ensuring that all permanent staff have a contract, and improving bargaining rights for trade unions in the workplace. Trade unions are opposed to this use of unpaid labour, and I fully support the campaign to ban this latest form of workplace exploitation.