Job Concerns Mounting Among Hospitality’s Frontline Workers

New survey of CGA and CPL Learning’s Hospitality Professionals panel reveals anxiety about employment and business prospects

Three quarters of people working in hospitality are concerned about their job security as the sector heads into a second lockdown in England.

The finding comes from a snap Pulse survey of the Hospitality Professionals panel from CGA and CPL Learning—a group of experts working in a variety of hospitality roles and sectors who provide vital frontline perspectives of the industry. It found that 72% of them now feel either very concerned (39%) or slightly concerned (33%) about their short-term job security.

Anxiety has been heightened by the enforced four-week closure of hospitality venues in England from Thursday (5 November), which follows a ‘firebreak’ lockdown in Wales and a swathe of closures in Scotland. Two in five (42%) people in the industry are also very concerned about long-term job security—double the figure (22%) in CGA’s Hospitality Professionals survey towards the end of the first national lockdown in June.

With no end to trading restrictions in sight, staff are also downbeat about general prospects for the industry. Less than a fifth (18%) of the Hospitality Professionals panel are optimistic about the prospects of the sector over the next six months—down 25 percentage points from June. Only half (49%) say they are confident that their employer will survive the COVID-19 pandemic—again, substantially down from June’s figure (71%).

“This survey illustrates how lockdowns and a steady stream of new trading restrictions have created widespread anxiety for hospitality professionals,” says Chloe Sheerin, Consumer Research Executive at CGA. “Frontline teams have worked very hard to bolster consumers’ confidence and support the sector’s recovery over the last few months, but November will now be a stressful month for many of them.”

The survey results highlight the need for employers to support their teams over the four-week lockdown. Previous Hospitality Professionals surveys have shown that businesses did a good job of this over the first lockdown period, with a third (35%) said their opinions of their employers had improved over lockdown—three times the number (12%) whose opinions worsened.

“By and large employers responded well to the challenge of keeping staff supported and valued earlier this year—but amid so much concern about jobs, they will need to double down on those efforts in November,” says Chloe Sheerin. “If they can do so, frontline teams will be well motivated to help their businesses bounce back once this latest lockdown is over.”