Unpaid trial work is an important issue that is of concern to many people in Liverpool Wavertree, and across the country. Around 140,000 people have signed a petition calling for MPs to support the Bill. I also note that last year over 41,000 people signed a petition that successfully called for Mooboo Bubble Tea shops to pay those working trial shifts, following reports that the company required staff to work a 40-hour unpaid trial, with no guarantee of a job after that.
Last year, research from the University of Middlesex identified unpaid induction and trial shifts as one of several types of unpaid work that contribute to an estimated £1.2 billion of wages denied to workers every year. This is an example of an imbalance of power between employers and employees in the UK workplace that has led to the proliferation of low wage jobs and employers avoiding paying workers fairly. I believe that unpaid trial shifts are exploitative to workers. If people undertake work during a trial period they should be fairly and properly paid.
The Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill is the second Bill due to be debated tomorrow, Friday March 16. If the government refuses to support the Bill, it is unclear how much progress it will be able to make through the House of Commons. Nevertheless, I can assure you that I back the Bill and will continue to support an end to unfair and exploitative trial shifts.