Advice on Employment please!

A friend has been for an interview for a part-time permanent job paid at SMIC rates.

She has been "offered" the job, but has been asked to work a week for no wages.

With my experience as both an employer and an employee in the UK my thoughts are that she should request written confirmation of the job offer, and also perhaps negotiate around 50% "free" and 50% paid work for the first week.

Obviously they want to check her suitability, and she wants the job...

can anyone advise on the best way forward, please?

Nick, what about the millions of hours worked for free each year on "stages"...? I agree with you in principle but in practice, well, we're in France...! And no, i didn't get our employee to do any free trial, I just wrote a 2 month trial period, renewable once if not yet decided, into her CDI ;-)

Thank you everyone for all the extremely helpful comments. She will be in touch with Pole Emploi later today as she is signing on. I totally agree about not paying some-one for a week's work but her situation is such that she is prepared to put up with it for the longer term rewards - let's hope they happen!

Thank you all again.

Whether legal or not legal, asking people to work for no remuneration in my book is immoral.

Also please do not confuse working for a week for a stranger, with doing a mate a favour.

I am signed up with pole emploi and when I went for a job interview, in November 2014, the employer asked me if I would agree to work for a week for no wages... I was very motivated so I accepted it. It is actually a contract that is called EMT (evaluation en milieu de travail) and I had to go to pole emploi and ask them for the contract that we filled in and had to forward to the employer. With this you are insured for the period you work there (in my case 35 hours) and the employer may even get a 2 eur/hour payment from pole emploi. If your friend is entitled to the unemployment benefit, then she will carry on receiving it during that period. It's a great way to show the employer that she is motivated and she is capable to do the work, and it also gives her a possibilty to decide whether it is the right job for her or not. Unfortunately in my case it didn't work out as, even though everything went well, they couldn't offer me the right amount of hours, so I had to refuse it. (They advertised a 35h CDI contract and offered me a 15h CDD due to lack of tarde! To be honest I wondered why they were looking for extra staff in the first place as, some days, there were more staff in the restaurant than customers… ) Some employers may also abuse the system, as this way they can get free workforce for a week or two...

They CAN ask her to work for a work for nothing, it's called essai professionnel and you can check the details here:

It is NOT illegal….

As far as I know she should NOT work for free the first week as she is not absolutley not insured, if she has an accident at the working place, the company have to cover her, she has to be declared on the first day of work

Saying this its hard to get jobs and I think your solution may be the best if it has to come to that

I am sure that this is illegal in france

Does he have this in writing or was it verbal?