I was pleased to participate in the debate on unpaid work trials, brought forward by my SNP colleague, Stewart McDonald MP.
Work trials are a completely unregulated area of employment and one where significant concerns over the treatment of workers have been reported .
Given that research suggests that more than half of people know someone who has experienced an unpaid work trial or have done one themselves, the scale of the issue cannot be underestimated.
Some unpaid trial shifts have been reported to go on for an entire 40 hour working week, where there is no guarantee of either a job, or even being paid for the work undertaken.
It is disappointing that the UK Government show no signs of willingness to tackle this problem. They have simply said that they believe unpaid work trials are “permissible in legitimate recruitment processes”, failing to grasp that the problem is nobody is monitoring what is “permissible” and what is “legitimate”.
This is another example of Westminster not working for workers, and yet another reason why this power should be devolved to the Scottish government to allow proper regulation to be put into place. This was proposed in the Commons by SNP MPs during the passage of the Scotland Bill but was opposed by Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems”. Labour confirmed again yesterday that it is opposed to the Scottish Parliament having power over Employment Law, leaving Scottish workers at the mercy of the Tories.