Unpaid work trials
Recently two of our clients sought our advice as to whether they can request a potential employee to do an unpaid trial with them. This is quite a common practice used to help determine if the person does actually have the skills to perform the role they are trying to fill. To determine whether you can do this and not be acting illegally depends on a couple of factors. You need to establish if an employment relationship exists or if it’s vocational work experience. Some points to consider are: How long is the arrangement for? How significant is the arrangement to the business?
Is the work normally performed by paid employees?
Does the business or organisation need this work to be done? Many awards have clauses that cover on work trials and stipulate a minimum rate of pay.