Can an employer use an unpaid work trial as part of a recruitment process?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 6 August 2019
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

Work trials can be a useful tool for employers and can form a legitimate part of a recruitment exercise by enabling employers to observe how a candidate performs in a real work setting before formally choosing to hire the candidate.

If the candidate performs to a high standard during the trial period, it will show the employer that they will be capable of carrying out the job role. Trial periods are often unpaid and therefore are sometimes frowned upon by trade unions and the general public.

Unfortunately, there is no specific legislation which governs this area of employment law. However, a good starting point is the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (“NMW Act"). Under the NMW Act, any person

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 06/08/2019

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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