James O'Brien questions whether zero hour contracts could help spread coronavirus

25 February 2020, 12:40 | Updated: 25 February 2020, 12:42

James O'Brien questioned whether the abundance of zero hour contracts in the UK would help the spread of coronavirus.

James explained the luxury of some where there's no worry if they fall ill, including himself.

James expressed concern over the most vulnerable in society where he wondered "how many people actually can't take a day off sick".

With cases of coronavirus on the rise in Europe, it seemed apparent to James that eventually there will be cases of Britons needing to self-isolate in the coming weeks and months.

He recognised how the need to take time off work could be detrimental to many struggling to make ends meet. It seemed to James to be "a really big deal" that some people simply will not afford to take time off work if they contract an illness.

As revelations came today of poorer women's life expectancy declining for the first time since 2010, James pointed out that this would come as no surprise to many listeners.

Spread of coronavirus could be down to people not taking time off work
Spread of coronavirus could be down to people not taking time off work. Picture: PA

When speaking about health inequality in the UK, "coronavirus seems to be the perfect focus of that question" for James. He pondered what the British public would do in the event of a coronavirus outbreak, especially those at the bottom of the ladder who live hand to mouth.

Put simply, James stated "if you don't drag your carcass to work you don't get paid" and also worried about the security of people's jobs, especially in the event of self-isolation as a result of contracting coronavirus.

Wondering how many would survive in the event of a pandemic, James argued "If you take two days off sick, you don't get shifts for the rest of the week" and wondered how that would impact those on zero hour contracts and in less secure work.