One In Ten Hospitality Sector Workers Consider Leaving The UK Due To Brexit

SIGNIFICANT staff shortages and closures of business will result from Brexit, according to a survey of the hospitality industry across the UK, according to a survey published today.

The survey commissioned by workforce collaboration software company Planday and conducted by YouGov reveals that just over one in 10 workers in UK restaurants, catering, bars and hotels are thinking about leaving the UK as a result of Brexit.

The survey further reveals that just over one in ten workers, equivalent to around 330,000 staff nationally working in UK restaurants, catering, bars and hotels are thinking about leaving the UK as a result of Brexit. This is in stark contrast to hospitality managers’ expectations that only around 4% of their workers are considering leaving the UK due to Brexit.

3% of hospitality managers predict that they will be forced to close their businesses as a result of Brexit, which nationally could equate to around a £1.1 billion loss for the economy**. Almost 1 in 5 (18%) of hospitality managers find recruitment harder now than in April 2017. 16% of hospitality managers do not think they will be able to fulfil their staffing requirements over the next 5 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.”

30% of workers expressed some form of concern about their job as a result of Brexit. Topping the list were immigration worries, with 24% (equivalent to around 86,500* people nationally) of staff polled who are born outside of the UK concerned that they would be forced to leave. The other key staff worries amongst all staff focus on expectations of pay decrease (11%) or being made to work longer hours (6%). About a third of managers (32%) who haven’t done so already think they will have to pay higher salaries and will experience labour (21%) and skills shortages (15%) as a result of Brexit.

Hospitality managers want more support from the government, calling for the following:

Almost half (45%) of hospitality managers want the government to offer some form of assistance to the sector due to Brexit
30% want specific work permits or visas for hospitality workers post Brexit.

37% of workers don’t think the government understands or is representing the needs of non-UK EU workers in the hospitality sector
53% of hospitality workers think that Brexit has made the UK a less welcoming place to live and work

To help address some of the issues that Brexit will present, managers in the 76% of firms who say they are Brexit-ready are taking the following action:

  • Training (10%) or upskilling staff (8%)
  • 15% are looking at actively recruiting from different markets like older employees or working parents
  • Increasing salaries (8%), or benefits for staff (4%)
  • 9% are looking at introducing more flexibility to appeal to more workers

Peter Ducker, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality commented: “Brexit will present some fundamental challenges to our sector if the changes proposed around immigration are approved, given the sheer number of staff and businesses that would be affected. 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.”