Unpaid Work

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 21st March 2019.

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Photo of Stewart McDonald Stewart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his Department's policy to include an assessment of the effect of unpaid work trials on levels of employment as part of the review of the international evidence on the impacts of minimum wages published on 13 March.

Photo of Stewart McDonald Stewart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the review of the international evidence on the impacts of minimum wages, published on 13 March 2019, if he will make it his Department's policy to ban unpaid work trials at the outset of employment.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The National Living Wage (NLW) has helped to deliver the fastest wage growth for the lowest paid in 20 years, and in April 2019, alongside the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates, will increase above inflation and average earnings. Collectively, over 2.1 million workers will benefit from the minimum wage rates. In Glasgow South, there are an estimated 1,600 workers currently benefiting from the minimum wages.

At Spring Statement 2019, the Government announced an important step in its aspiration to end low pay, by appointing Professor Arindrajit Dube to undertake a review of the latest international evidence on minimum wages. The review will be considering the implications of this international evidence for UK minimum wage policy.

The Government is clear that National Minimum Wage legislation already protects workers by proscribing unpaid work trials that are excessive and not part of a genuine recruitment process. The Government published new guidance in December 2018 that clarifies the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers.

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