No place for zero hours contracts

MP Gloria De Piero
MP Gloria De Piero

I was shocked to hear on the radio that retail giant H and M and motorway service station operator Welcome Break are among 37 firms that have been named and shamed for failing to pay the national minimum wage.

It’s utterly disgraceful and I’m glad they’ve been fined and ordered to pay compensation to their workers.

There can be no excuse for bosses failing to pay less than the legal requirement and if Labour was in power we’d double the fine for bosses who broke the law.

If anyone is unsure if they are paid the legal minimum, the current rates are £6.50 per hour (21 and over), £5.13 per hour (18-20 year olds), £3.79 per hour (16-17 year olds) and the apprentice rate is £2.73. You can contact me in the strictest of confidence. I’d also love to hear from you if you are on zero hours contracts too.

There’s no place for exploitative zero hours in this day and age. Let me know your story if you are employed on such a contract. There’s nothing more important than the health of a loved one so I was also disappointed to hear that 15-minute care home visits are on the rise.

Are people who are so frail that they need help with getting up, washing and eating really only worth a slap-dash 15 minute visit? £3.5bn has been taken from council social care budgets by the Government and hundreds of thousands have lost support. It doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m backing plans that would bring social care and the NHS together. We also need 5,000 more care workers to end the scandal that is care of older and vulnerable people in England.

Finally, I had a good clear out at the weekend and put together a few bags which I dropped off at our Salvation Army on Nottingham Road. I was met by the lovely Denise and Pete who do such a fantastic job. They were so pleased to receive the items of clothing and shoes that my husband and I no longer need - it really does remind you just how important it is to have a good clear out and give it to a good cause. In the past I’ve also dropped unwanted bits and pieces off at the Headway shop as well and whichever charity shop you use – in my experience you’re always assured of a warm welcome. I thoroughly recommend it!