Over Half Of Pub And Bar Workers Were Still On Furlough In May

Over half of pub and bar workers were still on furlough at the start of May according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The data revealed that 55% of employees in the industry remained on furlough last month, compare to an overall 8-15% of staff that were still on furlough in all other industries, showing the heavier reliance of hospitality on the scheme.

At its peak during the November 2020 lockdown, 91% of pub and bar staff were on furlough.

The ONS said that while there had been a reduction in hospitality employers using the scheme since outdoor restrictions were lifted on April 12, the percentage still remained high.

“This suggests that were pubs and bars have been open, they have been operating with minimal staff,” the report said.

The ONS also said confidence in the pub industry has increased in recent months but 33% of landlords still suffered “significant profit losses” last month, emphasising that that this represents an improvement after heightened restrictions around Christmas resulted in “huge losses in trade” at the end of 2020.

However, current levels remain significantly worse than across other areas of UK industry, with only 9% of all UK businesses reporting similar losses.

The Economies Of Ale report also revealed that furlough rates are still significantly higher than average, while confidence levels are also typically weaker than in most other sectors.

The survey showed that just over a fifth (24%) of pub businesses had high confidence of surviving the next three months, compared with around 44% for all types of company.

Furlough support is set to reduce from next month with further cuts until it is axed completely at the end of September.