Unpaid shifts are exploitative & fundamentally wrong!

The workplace is meant to be a place where people learn, a pathway to bettering themselves you could say; So someone please tell me why companies have the audacity to exploit our young people with ‘unpaid shifts’.

I agree with the MPs and lawyers who are today calling for a blanket ban on them.  And yes, the Federation of Small Businesses might be right, that they’re an important part of the recruitment process, but if someone does some work, they deserve to be paid for it.

I’m pretty old fashioned when it comes to employing people, there’s a rigorous process before getting the job, but if I ask them to come in and work for me – then I expect to pay them. Anything else is equivalent to slavery!

These exploitative practices are just another way companies are abusing their powers with our, mostly young and eager workers by taking them on with the false promise of a job at the end of the shift, only to leave them high and dry.

It’s not like these employers aren’t aware that when someone works for you, you’re meant to pay them, but there’s grey areas in the law that allow companies to bully those desperate for work, into taking unpaid shifts which is exploitative and fundamentally wrong! The Government need to tidy up the laws and prevent companies from taking advantage of those looking for work.

There is no excuse whatsoever for allowing someone to toil on your behalf and not pay them! All unpaid shifts should be banned, period. No excuses and no exceptions!

The same goes for unpaid Internships. I’ve been harping on about it being a criminal act for years now, and it’s good to hear that the Government are finally launching a crackdown on unpaid internships with enforcement teams targeting companies with warnings – but we need to do more! A warning letter isn’t strong enough to curb the exploitation.

Unpaid internships are not only a road block in the social mobility agenda, with poorer candidates at a disadvantage because they simply cannot afford to work without remuneration, but regardless of wealth – anyone who works a job, should be paid for it!

Unpaid internships and unpaid shifts are by their very nature designed to misuse and ill-treat people, looking to learn work and develop.

It’s not like we’re talking about a week or two work experience for 15-16 year olds, which is part of an education framework, these unpaid shifts and unpaid internships are plain and simply a disgraceful act by companies, looking to capitalise at the expense of others.


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