THE GOOD OLD DAYS
THE LABOUR LAWS - 1852
THE GOOD OLD DAYS
During the demolition of an old building in Lichfield, England, a document was discovered dated 1852, in which were set out working conditions and rules to be observed by the clerical staff, who had just benefited from the new Labour Laws.
1. Godliness, cleanliness and punctuality are the necessities of good business.
2. The firm has reduced hours of work and clerical staff will now only have to be present between the hours of 7am and 6pm on week days.
3. Daily prayers will be held each morning in the main office; the clerical staff will be present.
4. Clothing must be worn of sober nature. The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colours, nor will they wear hose, unless in good repair.
5. Overshoes and top coats may be worn in the office. Scarves and headgear may be worn in inclement weather.
6. A stove is provided for the benefit of the clerical staff; coal and wood must be kept in the locker. It is recommended that each member of the clerical staff brings four pounds of coal each day during cold weather.
7. No members of the staff may leave the room without permission from Mr Rogers. The calls of nature are permitted without permission and the clerical staff may use the garden below the second gate. This area must be kept in good order.
8. No talking is allowed during business hours.
9. The craving for tobacco, wines or spirits is a human weakness and is forbidden to all members of the clerical staff.
10. Now that the hours have been drastically reduced the partaking of food is allowed between 11.30am and noon, but work on no account ceases.
11. Members of the clerical staff will provide their own pens. A new sharpener is available on application to Mr Rogers.
12. Mr Rogers will nominate a senior clerk to be responsible for the cleanliness of the main office and private office. All boys and juniors will report to him 40 minutes before prayers and will remain after closing hours for similar work. Brushes, brooms, scrubbing brushes and soap are provided by the management.
13. The new increased weekly wages are; junior boys to 11 years 1/4d; boys to 14 years 2/4d; juniors 4/8d; clerks 10/9d; senior clerks after 15 years service with the owner 21/-. The owners recognise the generosity of the new labour laws but will expect a great rise in output to compensate for these near utopian conditions.
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