British Hospitality Workers Falling Behind With Pay Rises, New Report Shows

The UK is falling behind with annual average salary increases for hospitality and events workers, according to new research which analysed the pay rates for countries over the past two decades.

Hospitality has been one of the most severely hit industries over the course of the pandemic, with pubs and restaurants being forced to close, as well as events and flights abroad being cancelled. Covid-19 has brought about a period of great uncertainty, after a series of lockdowns and tier systems in the UK and research from software provider Mitrefinch, found the UK ranks in 20th place for annual salary increases, behind Ireland, France and the US.

The data shows salaries have risen by 20% for full-time workers in the UK since 2000, compared to 35% for Ireland. Despite having the 7th highest real minimum wage at £7.56*, the UK is behind in rankings as neighbouring countries improve their salary offerings at a faster rate.

Latvian employees were found to have the largest annual salary increase, with salaries rising by 148% according to the most recent figures available. Workers in Lithuania have also experienced a high rise at 144%, with those in Estonia also seeing a rise of over 100% in average annual salary (138%).

The full results can be found below:

Country Rise in average salary
Latvia 147.91%
Lithuania 143.65%
Estonia 137.91%
Czech Republic 73.91%
Slovak Republic 65.51%
Hungary 55.93%
Poland 52.94%
Chile 49.99%
Korea 44.41%
Norway 43.64%
Slovenia 41.48%
Sweden 35.41%
Ireland 34.51%
New Zealand 33.94%
Iceland 33.27%
Denmark 25.51%
France 21.43%
United States 20.49%
Canada 20.42%
United Kingdom 20.37%
Finland 19.12%
Germany 18.38%
Australia 17.86%
Luxembourg 16.68%
Switzerland 15.07%
Austria 11.60%
Israel 10.23%
Netherlands 9.91%
Belgium 8.82%
Mexico 5.09%
Italy 3.11%
Spain 2.17%
Japan 1.49%
Greece -2.48%
Portugal -3.20%

Commenting on the figures, Julie Lock, Commercial Director at Mitrefinch said:

“The pandemic has amplified any existing financial concerns for hospitality employees across the UK, with many being furloughed during lockdown or losing work altogether as events were called off, venues were closed. Whilst pubs and restaurants have been opened to the public – they have also been shut again on repeat, leaving many businesses extremely vulnerable. As the lockdown eased, staff in hospitality returned back to work again to continue doing what they love most, and they deserve to be recognised for their resilience and hard work over the past year.

“The data shows us that the increase of both this rate and annual average salaries for full-time employees has been slow in comparison to neighbouring countries, which is disappointing for hospitality workers who have faced an extremely tough year in their industry.”

Jayne Harrison, Head of Employment Law at Richard Nelson LLP commented:

“The data shows average annual salaries in the UK are rising at a slower rate than many neighbouring countries. This is frustrating for hospitality and events employees as they have continued to adapt to government guidelines and have faced unsettling job worries and financial stresses.

“After being hit by the pandemic, hospitality and events employees across the UK are looking to be supported financially by their employers as the economy begins to recover. These workers have played a critical role in getting the nation moving again, and we are expecting to see more of a push back on this over the next year.”

For the full results of this research, visit: https://www.mitrefinch.co.uk/blog/mitrefinch-news/salary-increases-uk-vs-row/