Work trials

A work trial is a short period in work you can offer to a jobseeker on benefits. It’s a way for you both to see if the job is a good fit.

It happens after you’ve interviewed them for a specific role. If they’re not suitable for it, you do not need to offer it to them.

Jobseekers volunteer for a work trial. They keep getting their benefits whilst they’re on it and are not paid a wage.


The work trial must:

  • only be used as a way for you and the potential employee to decide if they’re right for the role
  • be for a job where the jobseeker is the only person you’re considering hiring
  • be for a job which is at least 16 hours a week for at least 13 weeks

You need to agree the length of the work trial with the jobseeker before it starts. It must:

  • end when you’re sure about whether the jobseeker is suitable for the role
  • last no more than 5 days if the job is for less than 6 months
  • last no more than 30 days (and usually around 5 days) for jobs lasting 6 months or more

Jobcentre Plus will check that the employee has volunteered for the trial and that it meets the eligibility criteria.

How to carry out a work trial

You need to agree a work trial with Jobcentre Plus before you offer it to a jobseeker.

Contact the Employer Services Line to find out more.