Hospitality needs urgent help from gov, Deputy warns

It said there are fears that the hospitality workforce is suffering a repeat of December 2020

Hospitality employers need “urgent help” from the Government, according to an independent economist in a new report by the workforce management app Deputy.

With a “new wave” of cancellations hitting UK hotels, and dining out at the lowest level since May, it said there are fears that the hospitality workforce is suffering a repeat of December 2020, but without the support of the furlough scheme to prop it up.

The report points to the fact that the first lockdown in March 2020 caused a decline of more than 80% in hospitality work, recovering to -20% in August but returning to almost -80% again in December.

Independent economist Shashi Karunanethy led the report, which analysed 1,528,542 shifts worked by more than 14,000 UK hospitality workers using the workforce management app, Deputy, over the past 22 months.

Karunanethy said: “The Deputy Work Index shows the dramatic decline in hospitality during the lockdown periods last year. It also shows the decline in public confidence to eat, drink and socialise even when venues were open. With new fears around the Omicron variant, December 2021 is now following a similar decline.

“The difference is that without a furlough scheme in place, businesses and workers are taking a serious financial hit and may not survive. The economic recovery is contingent on revitalisation of local economies, particularly hospitality hubs. As such, it will require substantial government intervention.”

David Kelly, GM for EMEA at Deputy, added: “The hospitality industry needs stability more than ever. Our customers, who are employers in hotels, bars, pubs, cafes, coffee shops, takeaways and restaurants, have ridden a rollercoaster over the past two years.

“In recent months demand from customers has been high, yet these businesses have struggled with supply chain issues and have been desperate to attract more workers into the industry. With business now falling off a cliff again, hospitality employers desperately need some support.”

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