UKHospitality has called on the Government to support the hospitality industry by increasing the threshold of employer National Insurance Contributions from £6,000 to £12,000 to “stimulate greater recruitment and cut business costs” as part of a nine-point plan to safeguard the industry.
Industry representatives have teamed up with government officials and business leaders to make a series of recommendations to government as part of their Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030 report.
The Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030 makes nine recommendations aimed to boost employment and retention in the sector, which employs 3.2 million people. The inquiry was commissioned by UKHospitality.
The report follows a select committee-style series of parliamentary evidence sessions studying the challenges and opportunities being faced by employers, which heard from industry leaders, employees and MPs. A call for evidence resulted in 50 organisations and individuals contributing to the final report. The report calls on the government to act decisively to help secure the future of the sector and boost the UK’s economy by supporting a cross-industry campaign to tackle negative perceptions of a career in the sector; help provide better quality information about opportunities in hospitality; and collaborate with businesses to improve engagement between businesses and students.
UKHospitality is also critical the setting of the National Living Wage rate remains independent and non-politicised. Chief executive Kate Nicholls (pictured) said: “The UK’s hospitality sector is a resilient and inventive one. It has helped provide growth, jobs and investment in every region and has been vital for the regeneration of UK high streets following turbulent economic periods. However, without government support and immediate action on escalating employment costs, hospitality businesses will struggle to continue to provide these opportunities for people throughout the economic cycle.
The recommendations in this report map a path to a post-Brexit hospitality workforce. It is recognised free movement in its current form will end, and it is critical government supports the sector in promoting itself to young people and providing the framework for improved career development. The full potential of the sector will only be realised with positive action from the government to ensure this is achievable.
The Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030 exhaustively examined the opportunities and challenges our sector faces and actions to be taken. If acted upon these will enable us to provide even greater investment, and provide more jobs, in communities across the UK. Implementing the recommendations will allow us to more effectively provide careers and opportunities, particularly for harder-to-place workers, and help the government hit its apprenticeship target. With political and economic instability in the aftermath of Brexit, this is too good an opportunity for the government to miss. I thank everyone who gave their time to contribute to this comprehensive investigation and I sincerely hope the government acts upon our recommendations.”