This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.
News & Press: General

UKH warns over scale of hospitality job losses if further employment support not forthcoming

16 September 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pernille Thomsen
Share |

UKHospitality has warned that at least 900,000 hospitality jobs are at risk unless Government offers a sector-specific package of employment support that helps businesses retain valuable workers.

Giving evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee yesterday (15 September), Chief Executive Kate Nicholls praised the Chancellor’s recent Plan for Jobs in assisting businesses to retain employees, but said the hospitality sector was facing huge uncertainty in demand with enormous concerns about levels of trade into the winter months.

The warning comes after the latest figures showed that the UK unemployment rate has risen to its highest level for two years, with those aged 16 to 24 suffering the biggest drop in employment compared with other age groups. Nearly 100,000 jobs were lost in hospitality over three months, despite the furlough system being in place.

UKHospitality is calling for support in the following areas:

  • Short term working– Government to part-fund hours for businesses that have returned – up to 50% of wages for those back at work
  • Local lockdowns – enhanced support for hospitality businesses that are closed (or part-closed) – to cover 50% of wages if remainder is paid by employer
  • Bespoke financial support package for legally closed businesses – to include an ongoing allowance for staff, training and rent
  • Fully-funded training packages for employees in depressed areas like city centres.

Kate Nicholls said: “The people that work in hospitality are key to its success and we are very proud of the fact that we are the third biggest employing sector in the country. As a sector we provide fantastic employment opportunities for everyone – including offering young people their first taste of the world of work.

“It is undeniable that this crisis has massively damaged our ability to employ. Parts of the sector remain closed; a whole range of activities are not permitted; and the rest remains substantially below capacity. As a sector we have utilised flexible furlough to get as many people as possible back into the world of work, but we are at a very delicate stage.

“Redundancies have risen, driven by Company Voluntary Agreements caused by landlords demanding rent payments. Of those staff that remain around half are back at work. A further 16% are on flexible furlough. Just over a third of the sector remains on full furlough. We are concerned that this leaves at least 900,000 people in our sector at risk of redundancy without further support.”

“The hospitality sector has a proven track record in delivering jobs growth. But we need Government to be flexible in its approach and to provide the necessary support over the bleak winter months in order for our sector to continue to play a role in the economic recovery.”

ENDS


Notes to editors

About UKHospitality

  • UKHospitality is the trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
  • UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
  • The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
  • For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
  • Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
  • The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
  • Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
  • Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined


Business Partners