When I was personally exposed to zero hours contracts two years ago, my reaction was “I thought serfdom had been abolished” (“It’s casual, and that’s a problem”, Leader, 13 March). Such contracts may in some circumstances be very useful for both employer and employee, but their implications should not be hidden. As increasingly used in sectors such as social care, they are harmful as they weaken the status of employees within an organisation in a sector that does not need them on the scale practised. Their use also facilitates favouritism in the allocation of hours without redress. That is most wrong.