Work Trials


The applicant should be paid at least the minimum wage.

Author: Polly Davies
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 5 years old.

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You want to employ the best person you can and after some impressive interviews you may wish to assess your candidate’s technical and specialist skills in the workshop, bodyshop, shopfloor or office.

You may want to see an example of your potential new recruit’s talents, an example of their paint spraying abilities or office and customer care skills and to do this you may ask your applicants to take part in ‘work trial’ or do a ‘trial shift’ in your workplace.  You may see this part of your recruitment procedure and interviewing process, but you must take care not to be exploitative.

If part of your evaluation process is unpaid trials, you must ensure that:

·         it involves no more than a demonstration of the person’s skills, where they are directly relevant to a vacant position

·         it’s only for as long as needed to demonstrate the skills required for the job and could range from an hour to one shift

·         the person is under supervision for the entire trial.

·         ensure there is no discrimination in that all applicants are given the same opportunity.

If the work carried out by the applicant is used in the course of your business and is anything other than a demonstration of skills, then it could be deemed that the applicant has been ‘employed’ to do the task or shift and has therefore provided a service for which the applicant should be paid at least the minimum wage.

Polly Davies

Legal Advisor

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