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June 13, 2018

One in ten hospitality workers considering leaving UK due to Brexit

The UK hospitality industry could face significant staff shortages if results from a new YouGov survey come to pass.

By Maria Bracken

The UK hospitality industry could face significant staff shortages if results from a new YouGov survey come to pass.

The survey, launched by workforce collaboration software company Planday, reveals that 11% of workers in UK restaurants, catering, bars and hotels are thinking about leaving the country as a result of Brexit, while hospitality managers believe only around 4% of their employees are considering this option.

Some 3% of managers in the sector predict that they will be forced to close their businesses as a result of Brexit, which could cost the economy £1.1 billion. Almost one in five hospitality managers find recruitment harder now than in April 2017 and 16% do not think they will be able to fulfil their staffing requirements over the next five years with domestic workers.

John Coldicutt, chief commercial officer for Planday, commented: “These findings show to us the depth of the potential impact of Brexit on the UK economy, with the hospitality industry being hit especially hard.

“There’s clearly false confidence within the hospitality sector with almost three times as many workers considering leaving as managers expect. Now more than ever it’s crucial that managers make sure they have the right infrastructure in place to engage their employees and build genuine loyalty.”

Almost a quarter of staff polled who are born outside of the UK were concerned that they would be forced to leave. Other key worries amongst all staff included pay decrease (11%) and being made to work longer hours (6%).

About a third of managers who have not already done so think they will have to pay higher salaries and will experience labour (21%) and skills shortages (15%) as a result of Brexit.

Almost half (45%) of hospitality managers want the government to offer assistance to the sector due to Brexit. Some 30% want specific work permits or visas for hospitality workers post-Brexit and 37% of workers don’t think the government understands or is representing the needs of non-UK EU workers in the sector. Just over half of hospitality workers think Brexit has made the UK a less welcoming place to live and work.

Peter Ducker, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality, added: “These results clearly show the need across the sector for forward-planning and we are encouraged to see evidence of the industry stepping up to the challenges ahead through increased training and upskilling as well as the many innovative recruitment strategies we know our members are starting to put in place.”

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