HMV is reviewing its unpaid work placements following the row over the Government’s Work Experience scheme.
Despite not being part of the official scheme the furore has lead to the entertainment retailer reviewing its own practice to stop attacks from critics, according to The Telegraph.
HMV told the newspaper that it made the move after militants repeatedly attacked it. The retailer’s Oxford Street flagship was the recipient of a short-lived protest on Saturday. Although the protesters quickly dispersed, potential reputational damage forced the retailer to take action.
The retailer does offer unpaid work experience, lasting for about two weeks, to unemployed people via welfare agencies and to those who approach it directly, however it has never offered placements under the Government scheme.
It is was now reviewing all unpaid placements to make sure they include training and access to job interviews, to put a stop to unwarranted scrutiny.
Channel 4 News claims Work Experience participants at an Asda store in Harrogate were told they had to participate in the scheme or risk losing benefits.
Participant Joseph Wilson told the TV channel that he was given a standard reference and full-time Asda staff had complained there was no overtime available due to the additional Work Experience labour.
Asda said the positions were “never at the expense of paid roles”.
A spokesman told the newspaper: “The alternative is not to do it at all. It’s good we review this to make sure we do it well. What’s unfortunate is companies being forced into making statements [about pulling out of the scheme]. The threat of potential boycotts is having a disproportionate impact.”
Since the unpaid work row began two weeks ago, Tesco, the first retailer to be criticised has distanced itself from the Government scheme. Poundland and Waterstones have also dropped out whilst Matalan, Superdrug and Argos have all suspended their involvement .