Rona Mackay takes unpaid trial shifts debate to Holyrood

Rona Mackay takes unpaid trial shifts debate to Holyrood

MSP Rona Mackay is set to hold a debate in the Scottish Parliament on unpaid trial shifts.

The exploitative practice is being used to cover staff shortages and cut costs, the MSP said.

SNP MP Stewart McDonald is currently putting a Bill through the UK Parliament to ban unpaid trial shifts.

Ms Mackay is bringing the debate to the floor in Holyrood for MSPs to thrash out why they should be banned.

She said: “There is a systemic exploitation of workers across Scotland who are being used as free labour by companies to cover staff shortages and save money.

“Most of the time, young people in desperate need of employment are being targeted by rogue employers mostly in the hospitality industry.

“Many businesses already pay potential workers they take on for a trial – but more are not, and some are seriously abusing people looking for work.

“It is a callous practice that costs the UK economy £1.2 billion a year on wages, according to researchers at Middlesex University and Trust for London in its Unpaid Britain research paper.

“For all of these reasons, I am very glad to be holding a debate in the parliament on what is a very important issue. The abuse of unpaid trial shifts needs to be put out there and discussed as much as possible.

“I would like to thank Stewart McDonald MP for his efforts on the Westminster Bill to get them banned across the UK. Sadly this is an area where the legislation is reserved to the UK Government – but here in Scotland we need to shout about the issue and let the public know how bad the situation has become.”

The debate will take place at 5pm on Tuesday January 23 and can be watched at www.scottishparliament.tv.

ENDS

MSP urges flu jab uptake as virus cases double over December

MSP urges flu jab uptake as virus cases double over December

ELIGIBLE constituents are being encouraged to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination by MSP Rona Mackay.

Everyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people at most risk of serious illness are offered the flu vaccination on the NHS.

Flu rates in Scotland doubled in December with the most recent figures from Health Protection Scotland showing around 46 Scots in every 100,000 were suffering from the virus, comparing to 22 in every 100,000 for the same week in 2016.

Ms Mackay, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said:

“There has been a surge in flu cases this year compared to last, nearly double according to the NHS.

“This is why it is so important that those most at risk of the flu virus to take up the free vaccination.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to say how thankful I am for the work NHS staff have been doing over this festive and winter period.

“NHS staff have coped so well under the extra pressure this year – but the public can help relieve this by making sure they are vaccinated, if eligible.”

ENDS

For more information on the flu jab visit: http://www.healthscotland.com/flu