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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all today from Holyrood Live!

    That's all from us here at Holyrood Live on Tuesday 23 January.

    Health secretary described the decision to close a hospital children's ward as one of the most difficult she has had to make.

    Shona Robison

    Shona Robison confirmed on Friday that child in-patient and day care services at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley would move to Glasgow.

    She told the Scottish Parliament today that there was "overwhelming clinical support" for the move.

    Join us tomorrow for a committee on transport, two Scottish Conservative debates on justice and a members' debate on adverse childhood experiences.

  2. That concludes the debate on unapaid trial work

    Worker

    Employablity and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn says he is very clear that there is more that can be done, but fundamentally it requires a change in the law.

    Mr Findlay asks if the minister agrees that where companies are exploiting workers that the government should not be furnishing them with public money.

    Mr Hepburn says there businesses should adhere to the government's fair work policy.

    He calls for everyone to back Stuart McDonald's Bill.

  3. Minister critcises DWP voluntary work programmes

    Employment Minister Jamie Hepburn
    Image caption: Employment Minister Jamie Hepburn

    Employment Minister Jamie Hepburn highlights Better Than Zero is being supported by the Scottish government's trade union modernisation fund.

    He criticises the DWP's voluntary work programme, as promoted by Jobcentre Plus.

    He confirms he has written to the UK government on the matter, seeking statistics on the number of work trials which have resulted in permanent employment.

    Labour MSP Johann Lamont asks if exploitative companies could be identified, would the Scottish government would step in.

    Mr Hepburn says he does not have access to such information, but the fundamental issue is with employment law which is reserved.

  4. Upaid trial shifts the most pernicious of exploitations says Labour MSP

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay says employment in Scotland is one in which far too many families are struggling with low pay and insecurity.

    He cites the varying ways people are exploited, from zero hours contracts to unpaid trial shifts.

    The latter is one of the most pernicious examples of exploitation, he says.

    Neil Findlay

    The case of Craig Robertson is brought up again, this time by Neil Findlay, who says B&M did not even reply to his query about the way he was treated.

    According to theDaily Record "fast-growing retailers B&M asked a man with Asperger’s to work for three days without pay before dumping him.

    "Craig Robertson, 25, thought he had secured a paid position after his three five-hour “trial” shifts at the chain’s store inWishaw, Lanarkshire.

    "He was one hour from starting his planned shift last Sunday when a manager phoned to tell him he wasn’t needed."

  5. Valued workers are more productive, says SNP MSP

    SNP MSP Ruth Maguire

    SNP MSP Ruth Maguire notes young people are most likely to be exploited via unpaid trials.

    She says her daughter had undertaken a trial shift at a bar and afterwards was told they were looking for someone with more experience.

    As consumers, we can put pressure on businesses by refusing to give custom to those who exploit young people, Ms Maguire argues.

    Workers who feel valued and supported are often more productive, she concludes.

  6. Musicians often expected to work for free

    SNP MSP Tom Arthur notes musicians are often expected to work for free, with a recent survey finding 20% of the sector agree it is standard practice.

    In the face of increasing job automation, now is the time to strengthen employment law, he argues.

    SNP MSP Tom Arthur
  7. 'Bad bosses love grey areas of the law'

    Ross Greer

    Green MSP Ross Greer says the economy is designed to exploit young people, but recent campaigns by those same folk have been a source of optimism.

    Mr Greer says the UK has the weakest employment laws in Western Europe.

    He says there is no clear definition when a trial moves to work and bad bosses love grey areas of the law.

    The Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlights the impossibility of breaking the cycle of low pay and no pay, says Mr Greer.

  8. 'I'm absolutely furious that we have to have this debate at all'

    Johann Lamont

    "I'm absolutely furious that we have to have this debate at all", begins Labour MSP Johann Lamont.

    She commends SNP MP Stewart McDonald for bringing forward the Bill.

    The practice is morally unacceptable but that does not appear to be sufficient in preventing it, she says.

    Legislation is not enough but it's a good starting point, she adds.

    She criticises the argument that undertaking unpaid trials is a choice, stating that "take it or leave it" is not a matter of choice for many young people.

  9. Background: Stewart McDonald on his Private Member's Bill

    Stewart McDonald
    Image caption: Stewart McDonald

    Mr McDonald said some shops, bars and restaurants would be using unpaid trial shifts to cover staff shortages over the holiday period.

    He said: "Unpaid trial shifts are common practice across the UK.

    "However, they are exploitative and take unfair advantage of people genuinely seeking work.

    "Over the Christmas period, it is increasingly likely you'll be served in a shop or a restaurant by someone working an unpaid trial shift."

    Mr McDonald, an SNP representative, added: "The Private Member's Bill I have brought forward has received the support of the STUC, NUS, and the Better than Zero campaign - who are to be commended for the excellent work they have done in documenting and challenging exploitative work practices in different industries."

  10. 'This is clearly unacceptable'

    Tory MSP Dean Lockahart
    Image caption: Tory MSP Dean Lockahart

    Tory MSP Dean Lockahart says there may be circumstances where a very brief trial period, to access the suitabiity and skills of a candidate for the job, may be acceptable.

    Mr Lockhart says that is not the same as the issue being raised by Rona Mackay, which he agrees has been cited as costing £1.2bn in unpaid wages.

    This is clearly unacceptable and employers should pay their staff, he says.

    Mr Lockhart calls of further clarity in the law on this.

    Rona Mackay says it is the moral obligation to pay workers, regardless of the law.

    Mr Lockhart again says a brief unpaid trial period could be legitimate to check the skills of candidates.

  11. Calls for end to ban unpaid trial shifts

    View more on twitter

    Ms Mackay uses her motion to praise the Private Members Bill introduced by Stewart McDonald MP in the House of Commons to ban unpaid trial shifts.

    She says this practice infringes workers’ rights and calls for it to be stopped.

    Young people are the group most likely to face exploitation, says Ms Macakay and she adds that they should be paid for their work during a trial period.

  12. Rona Mackay calls for members to back bill at Westminister

    Rona Mackay

    Rona Mackay says the size of the business does not matter when it comes to exploitation.

    She notes a national supermarket has employed hundreds of young people on an unpaid trial basis, while a small local restaurants have also done the same.

    The SNP MSP commends Unite Scotland's Fair Hospitality Charter which aims to reform the hospitality sector, including getting rid on unpaid trial shifts and paying the living wage.

    What can MSPs do about the problem, she asks.

    She urges members to contact their MPs to urge them to support SNP MP Stewart McDonald's bill.

  13. Background: MP campaigns to end unpaid 'trial shifts'

    People

    A Scottish MP has stepped up his campaign to outlaw unpaid "trial shifts" which he said have become common in the UK.

    Stewart McDonald, who represents Glasgow South, has written to every MP asking them to back a Private Members' Bill.

    The proposed law would end the practice of people being asked to work without pay and with no guarantee of a job.

    The bill has the support of Scottish trade union body, the STUC.

    Read more here.

  14. Unpaid work trial shifts cost £1.2bn in missing wages says MSP

    Ms Mackay
    Image caption: Ms Mackay

    Ms Mackay says her colleague at Westminster, Stewart McDonald, is bringing this issue forward as a private member's bill.

    The SNP MSP says an independent study found that unpaid work trial shifts cost £1.2bn in missing wages.

    She applauds the employers who do pay trial workers.

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay intervenes to says we should watch our language as paying trial workers should be the norm andn ot applauded.

    MS Mackay agrees, which makes two SNP MSPs agreeing with Neil Findlay in two debates in less than an hour!

    Are we entering a parallel universe or topsy turvy land?

  15. Unpaid trial shifts debate

    Motion

    SNP MSP Rona Mackay leads a member's debate condemning unpaid trial shifts.

    Workers
  16. 'It is time for action now and not merely words'

    Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon must agree common frameworks
    Image caption: Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon must agree common frameworks

    Adam Tomkins says: "It is time for action now and not merely words."

    He says everyone welcomes the commitment that common frameworks will not be imposed on the devolution governments but will be agreed by both governments.

    The Tory MSP, speaking on behalf of the Finance and Consitution Committee stresses the importance of intergovernmental relations and interparliamentary relations.

    The UK constitution needs a rebooted set of intergovernmental relations.