How would you like to work for nothing?

You give a company day or maybe even a week’s work and then they decide if they give you a job or not.

Is it an extended interview to make sure you are suitable for the job or just free labour for the firm?

A Glasgow MP has launched a Bill to ban unpaid trial shifts stating they are exploitative.

Companies have entire departments devoted to recruitment and HR to ensure they get the right people.

They are careful in how they advertise vacancies to target the type of people they want.

Managers are trained or experienced in spotting who they want from applications received and then from an interview to decide who is best suited.

Most new employees have a probationary period where at the end of it the company could say you have not met expectations and the contract is withdrawn.

If they also want to have a trial period where you are unpaid then somewhere along the line their recruitment policy has failed.

Either that or they are exploiting the eagerness and in some cases desperation of people seeking work who will do anything to secure a job.

Is it even legal? If a firm is profiting from your labour and not paying the minimum wage for the time worked.

A trial shift is not training, it is not work experience. You are effectively doing the job and being judged on whether you should be kept on or not.

Used mostly in the catering and hospitality industry, you are serving real customers, providing a real service and taking real money from them.

An audition in front of a live paying audience if you like.

If it is a trial and you are unpaid perhaps the service or goods should be given for free or at a discount rate.

Perhaps the firm should ask its customers if they are happy being served by someone on a trial shift, because effectively they are saying to you ‘we are not sure about you yet so work for free for a while and we’ll see how you shape up’.

And in return they don’t take the customers full payment because you are not a fully paid member of staff.

But they don’t so Stewart McDonald, the MP who is bringing forward the legislation to ban unpaid trial shifts, is right to question the motives of employers and prevent the exploitation of people who just want to earn a living.

The MP was inspired in part by a case in Glasgow were a firm was asking prospective staff to do 40 hours trial, unpaid and with no guarantee of a job at the end of it.

The company said it was necessary for training purposes.

Surely new staff should be selected by interview and if necessary a skills test and if necessary then put through training before put on the job for real.

The firm should pay for the training of staff as it will benefit from their skills.

Unpaid work trials in this manner are exploitative and used as free labour and should be banned.