Have you been asked to work an unpaid trial shift? Watch

Poll: Are unpaid trial work shifts fair?
Yes (149)
13.68%
No (458)
42.06%
It depends on the circumstances (482)
44.26%
jegrah
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#21
Report 1 year ago
#21
Yes, I personally have experienced many unpaid work placements and I feel these should be banned.
Everyone does have a living to earn (rent to pay, food to buy, etc) and if you are working no matter what the circumstance money should be earned.
I look on this as 'being used' by an employer and as an incredibly busy student wanting to earn a little extra money and work experience for my CV this shouldn't be allowed to happen.
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Practitioner
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#22
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#22
Yes! And it should be banned. I believed it is some sort of getting away in paying the poor individuals and I felt so sorry for those people who are being victimised.
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qprgrill
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#23
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#23
I was offered at trial day, of which I was expecting to be paid for (although not told) but never received payment for. It was a 7 hour shift from 3 - 11; he asked me if I could come back the next day for 'another trial day' which I couldn't due to my mothers birthday. I never heard back from him again or received payment which makes me doubt whether he actually wanted me in the first place.
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faloodeh
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#24
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#24
(Original post by Ganjaweed Rebel)
Why did you even agree to it?
i didnt know i was going to get used until it happened(no prior experience), i just wanted a job man
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username3590460
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#25
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#25
Yeah. And it wasn’t worth it because I left the job within a week
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chloepalmer
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#26
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#26
I did two 2 hour trial shifts, but it was more of a training thing since I'd already been guaranteed the job pretty much.
I think its fine as long as you know you've got the job, and that you aren't just working for them for free...
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Ganjaweed Rebel
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#27
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#27
(Original post by faloodeh)
i didnt know i was going to get used until it happened(no prior experience), i just wanted a job man
It's poor how some unscrupulous business people use smoke and mirrors to play the bait and switch to use students as free labour because their business model is such a failure it necessitates exploitation to survive.
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LAProbert
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#28
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#28
I don’t think it is fair to ask someone to work a trail shift without pay, the person has still done the work, often as much or more than staff already employed.
Further to this although not directly linked, is the issue of volunteers and how they are treated by big companies.
There should be more strict rules on what can and cannot be expected by volunteers, and how much can be expected before they also need to be paid for their work too.
To continue from that point, there should be easier access to a service that helps volunteers and contractors that have been blacklisted from an event with no evidence provided by the company, even on request.
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mikebuk
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#29
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#29
Had enough bad experiences via Jobcentre / training company enforced garbage to know it is a disgrace to get people slaving for them for no reward. Complain and they say you've a bad attitude. Learndirect win the prize for the way they treat people. They even got me docked a month's JSA because I attended a job interview instead to a job search session all because they put the wrong date down. Sadly I have ran out of trust regarding employers, so there is no way I would do volunteer work unless I wished to specifically do it.
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khanzy
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#30
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#30
I think it’s not completely justified to make an individual work long trial shifts, I’ve done two trial shifts for Amazon as a delivery driver both 8 hour shifts and never got the job anyway. It’s understandable to see how someone works in few hours 1-2 and wouldn’t take more than that to realise if they’re worth giving the job too, but you know it’s just them taking advantage when you work your butt off for two days and in reality it’s free labour so why not in their minds, I feel like there needs to be rules on this, some employers are clearly taking advantage like amazon. Atleast if they offered you lunch it would make it feel like you’re gaining something. Worked for 14 hours in total and never got paid, that’s time wasted when I could have kept looking for other jobs. There definitely needs to be a strict guideline on what’s allowed as a trial, it’s understandable for a few hours but without rules there may be more companies taking advantage of vulnerable people looking for work.
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MissMorning
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#31
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#31
Unpaid trials take advantage of people who are in a desperate situation. Not mention sometimes the travel costs to even get to the trial are too much for some people to afford without their time covered. What is to stop countless companies taking advantage of this in a time where people are desperate for jobs.
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Synchronise
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#32
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#32
I've done factory work via an agency and the trial day I did I was paid for, even though it wasn't much.
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username3550432
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#33
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#33
- Have you been asked to work an unpaid trial shift?

Yes, one for Iceland. Only 1-2 hours long.

- After completing it, were you offered the job?

Yes, but I was very much under the impression I'd receive the job beforehand anyway.

- Do you feel that students are particularly affected by this issue?

Regardless if I wasn't a student, I would have still had to work for the unpaid trial shift.
I can see different companies taking advantage of students in this way.

- Do you think it is fair to ask someone to work an unpaid trial shift?

For a short shift like mine I don't think not being paid is an issue. My mother thought it was odd how I wasn't paid for it as I got the job. I think companies are avoiding having to pay someone who did a disastrous job while on the trial shift.
A longer shift like 3+ hours should be paid though, as it could be a potential total waste of time otherwise.
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Chichaldo
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#34
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#34
(Original post by Official House of Commons)
Tell Stewart Malcolm McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, about your views on being asked to work an unpaid trial shift.

He has proposed a new law which would ban the practice of asking job seekers to work a trial shift without pay. He wants to know:
- Have you been asked to work an unpaid trial shift?
- After completing it, were you offered the job?
- Do you feel that students are particularly affected by this issue?
- Do you think it is fair to ask someone to work an unpaid trial shift?

Stewart will be reading and responding to your comments so join the discussion and share your experiences.
First Year University Student - Law, 19 y/o


- Have you been asked to work an unpaid trial shift?
I have not.

- After completing it, were you offered the job?
N/A however from discussion with friends it does appear to be rather a formality, especially if few are given trial shifts given the overall number of applicants.

- Do you feel that students are particularly affected by this issue?
I would say that more students could well be asked due to a lack of expierence in most areas of employment however I feel that a trial shift to see how one copes in the workplace or particular skills of the job is better than not being given a fair opportunity for lack of experience.

- Do you think it is fair to ask someone to work an unpaid trial shift?
I don't see the issue with it so long as it is not for an unreasonable amount of time. After all, the employer's are the one's looking for the most competant staff at the end of the day and need to know if someone can do the job or will be able to do the job. The potential employee is well within their rights to refuse the trial shift and apply elsewhere but I do not see why one would resfuse this. What reasons are there not to do it (bar being asked to work an unreasonable amount of time)? If you can do the job then a trial shift should be fine, equally if you do not do well then to put it bluntly, the employer can hire someone more suited to the job. It is not always a detriment to the potential employee also, gives them a flavour of the job.
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suwa
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#35
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#35
I am a uni student studying law. I would say it depends on the circumstances and we have to look at the situation from both ends of the spectrum . First of all, from the employees view I would think it is unnecessary to make someone work hours without pay especially when they have said on their CV that they have past experience in that particular sector . If the employer is in doubt there are references of previous employers which he/she can contact. In my case I had done two days of training 9-5 which they said they would pay me but not until my 18th shift which I think was quite annoying but at least better an employer who wouldn’t pay at all. At the end of the day i was offered the job anyway. I think this issue affects students because i mean we have school to be at and we have to still find time and way to balance it all. In my situation i had to skip class for the day just to be there only to hear i wouldn't get paid then. However , from the employers view I wouldn’t blame them for testing someone’s skills before fully employing them specifically in situations whereby there is no previous experience but this should be limited to about 1 hour depending on the job or if it’s going to be more than an hour then the employee deserves a reward either in monetary form or some other form and this would be regardless of if they were good at it or not. It’s simply just showing gratitude for their time and to at least uphold the company’s reputation. This is not to say that there are no companies taking advantage of free labour, there certainly is and there needs to be a strict rule on this so that companies are constrained and have to follow certain guidelines. Hence reteriating my point that it would depend on the circumstances.
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Key4life
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#36
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#36
I have done unpaid trial shifts and some paid both with different outcomes mainly securing the job! I think that an one - two hours unpaid is fine but anything longer should be paid.
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greghayes
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#37
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#37
I interviewed last summer for a waitressing job. They needed someone for immediate start and I happened to spot the advert moments after they posted it so called them up and interviewed that afternoon. She didn't even ask to see my CV and instead immediately starting talking about my work hours, pay, etc. so it seemed as though I had the job straight away. She asked if I could come in on Tuesday for my training and I said yes.

I went on Tuesday and the manager wasn't there so another regular member of staff trained me (under the instructions left by the manager). It was 4 hours of training which by the second hour ended up me being fully trained and so starting working normally. Only at the end of my day did the girl training me say "oh did *manager* mention by the way that this is an unpaid trial shift?"... None of this had been explained to me at the interview!
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LineFormColor
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#38
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#38
Unpaid trials are asinine. The time of the prospective employer is just as valuable as that of the prospective empolyee,
no one is getting any younger nor is anyone immortal last time I checked. And the silly excuse that it's fair so the employer
can check to see if one does a good job is the line of coddled, simpleton teenagers who don't know much of the world
and haven't thought their ideas through.. Would you ask a chef for a free meal and pay only if it's to your satisfaction,
would you tell a brain surgeon to cut that tumor out and you'll pay him only if you survive, how about asking a person
you're interested in to have sex with you to make sure it's good enough before asking them out? Applying for a job is
just as much an investment and risk for the employee as it is for the employer, you never know how good of an employer
he is, if he's mean, too micromanaging, doesn't pay on time, ends up trying to pay you less than you agreed or even
skimps off with the money he owes you. I see no reason for an employer to get guarantees and crawl up and down an
employee with a microscope if the employee hasn't the same right. So no, they are not fair and they should be banned.
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LsDad
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#39
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#39
IN your quest to ensure students get paid irrespective of whether they can do a job or add any value to an employer, please ensure you don't mix this up with unpaid internships or unpaid work experience, as I fear a push too far in your socialist agenda towards this direction, could result in employers not offering to invest in student training or refusing to take students at all in preference of skilled candidates for practically the same pay rate.The question really comes down to if the said job includes proper training or shadowing and also appreciate that an employer in professional industries is in effect losing money initially investing in the training of students that could just suck up those skills and take them to a competitor hence, never see a direct return.
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faloodeh
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#40
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#40
(Original post by Ganjaweed Rebel)
It's poor how some unscrupulous business people use smoke and mirrors to play the bait and switch to use students as free labour because their business model is such a failure it necessitates exploitation to survive.
Agree! This was Meat&Shake btw... for anyone in London
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