A GLASGOW student is campaigning to have unpaid trial shifts outlawed.

Ellen Reynolds, 19, was asked to work a five-hour shift in a Bearsden restaurant as a trial for a waitress job.

She received no pay and never heard back from the restaurant.

Ms Reynolds even had to fork out to have the right clothes the restaurant dictated.

She has started a petition to have the matter raised in the House of Commons and has the backing of a Glasgow MP who has also campaigned to end unpaid trial shifts.

Ms Reynolds, who has more than two years of waitressing experience, said: “This is a widespread issue. I want to bring it to the attention of more people.

“There is so much wrong with trial shifts. I had to work five hours.

“I didn’t get paid and I didn’t hear anything from the restaurant. One hour would be plenty to see if you can do the job and you should be paid for it.”

She has not named the restaurant as she said it is a widespread issue and not about her individual experience.

She added: “I know of someone who did two weeks on a construction site. He got no pay and no job. It is hotels and other industries as well, not just pubs and restaurants.”

Her petition, which is halfway to the 10,000 needed for the UK Government to respond, has signatures from across the UK – from Orkney and Shetland to Cornwall, and in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Ms Reynolds wants to reach the 100,000 responses needed to have the petition debated in Parliament.

Her petition states: “Potential employees might feel as though they can’t say no to these exploitative trials without risking their future livelihood.

“It is unfair to force someone to work for hours without pay for a job they might not even be given.

“Moreover, there is the cost of travelling to and from the trial shift as well as having to buy a uniform such as a shirt, trousers, plain t-shirt etc.

“These are things that unemployed people cannot afford to be wasting money on and shouldn’t have to for a job that is unpaid.”

Glasgow South SNP MP Stewart McDonald backed Ellen’s campaign, and said: “After more than two years of campaigning against exploitative, unfair, unpaid trial shifts, Ellen’s case is just one of the many horror stories I still hear from people who are being asked to work hours unpaid, without knowing if they will get the job or if there even is one available.

“I am not against trials, but if a trial period is offered, then the employer must pay up for that period.

“The current law is not working, and if enough people sign Ellen’s petition, we can send a message to the UK Government that they must immediately commit to a ban on unpaid work trials.”

The petition is at the petition.parliament.uk website