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Retaining Staff

Posted By Heidi Birkin, Head of Marketing at Deputy EMEA, 13 June 2019
Updated: 05 June 2019

Over 50% of YouGov respondents say more control over work and life patterns would aid staff retention.

Deputy commissioned a survey with YouGov to better understand the low staff retention rate in the UK hospitality industry. Unsociable working hours, low pay and benefits, and lack of career prospects are the top three reasons why the sector suffers from a low annual staff retention rate.

According to Deputy data, the hospitality sector has an employee turnover rate of 30% – double that of the UK average – and is forecasted to increase as the ‘Brexodus’ of EU workers continues.  We used the survey to understand the real reasons people leave hospitality and what might be done to retain them.

YouGov Report

Deputy worked with YouGov to investigate the reasons hospitality workers leave the industry. The survey of 1,006 GB employees reveals that:


  • 42% of GB employees have worked in hospitality at some point.
  •  62% of those currently employed in hospitality believe it is viable to have a long-term career in the sector. 
  •  The key factors which would make employees less likely to leave are:
  • Better pay and benefits (63%) 
  •  More control over work life and shift patterns (55%) 
  •  More stable income and guaranteed hours (52%) 
  •  Better career prospects (42%) 
  •  More transparency from employers regarding shifts/scheduling (32%)

  • Last resort:  40% of respondents who have worked or currently work in hospitality said they took a job in the sector because it was the only one available. 
  •  A stop gap: For 44%, working in hospitality was their main occupation; 38% said they did it while in education and 15% said it was a second or third job.


  •  The top three reasons for leaving the sector were:
  • Unsociable working hours (69%) 
  •  Low pay and benefits (63%) 
  •  Lack of career prospects (35%)
  • Just 3% answered that they chose to work in hospitality for the career prospects it offered


One key note is the majority of those surveyed (55%) feel that more control over work and shift patterns would make hospitality workers less likely to leave.  It can be stressful not to know when you’ll be working week to week, limiting your ability to plan and to make the most of both work and ‘down’ time.  Deputy can help solve this issue by giving employees more control and freeing up valuable time for employers.

Using the data from the survey, Deputy produced a report detailing the survey findings, the challenges impacting staff retention, and potential solutions both from an industry and individual business perspective.

If you want to read more, download the full report.

Survey figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,006 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between July 4-9, 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size.



UKHospitality members receive 20% off the cost of Deputy Premium for their first six months.

See how Deputy can help you better manage your team by trying Deputy for free or contact us on 020 3150 1149 to learn more.



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