How can you justify Victorian measure?

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John Leigh’s column on zero-hours contracts (Tuesday, May 12)was shockingly out of touch with the people of Sheffield.

These contracts are a scourge of those who wish to work.

Nothing can equal the demoralising effect of not knowing if you will be working this week or how many hours.

Just how many Sheffielders do you think wait fretting by the telephone in a morning to see if they will be working that day and can therefore feed the kids?

John Leigh (who I assume has never been subjected to a zero-hours contract , or ever will be) outlines how “difficult it is to make a profit” as some sort of justification for this awful Victorian measure.

The simple answer to that is employers have never had it so good !

Employee rights have been demolished and there has been a trend towards the National Minimum Wage becoming universal irrespective of how a company is performing.

Holiday pay has been rolled into the hourly rate, the days of getting two days off together, let alone a weekend and premium payments on Sundays and Bank Holidays are fast disappearing.

Mr Leigh mentions “ever increasing legal changes” and goes on to talk of “compensation awards” and “contractual disputes”.

What a crying shame. Employee Rights (or as his sort like to call them “barriers to business” are there for a reason, to protect employees.

He should not worry though, the Government will soon set about removing those from the awful time our employers are having.

All over Sheffield in thousands of fast food outlets and huge superstores people are working a lot for a little.

Next time the kid in the petrol station seems a bit down as they serve you on a Sunday evening just pause and ask yourself if you would be happy doing what they are doing ?

How Mr Leigh can talk of “employment issues” given how massively unfairly the scales are tipped in favour of employers stuns me.

One can only hope that one day Mr Leigh finds himself waiting by the phone to see if he can earn enough to buy food for the next couple of days.

I just hope he does not have a spare bedroom.

Bill Stewardson

Broomhill