03 APR, 19
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NMW in Hospitality Almost two million UK workers on minimum wage are in line for a pay rise from this week, as the legal minimum wage increases by nearly 5%. Twenty years on from the introduction of a national minimum wage, the main rate for employees over 25 is set to rise to £8.21 from £7.83. However, a recent study found the average hourly pay of workers over 25 in the UK hospitality industry is £8.60 – 39p above the new £8.21 National Living Wage.

Unsociable working hours (69%), low pay and benefits (63%), and lack of career prospects (35%) were the top three reasons people cited for leaving the sector in YouGov and software company Deputy's Retaining Britain’s Hospitality Workers report. The availability of flexible work seems to be the biggest attraction to most candidates. In my opinion a lot of companies seem to be solely concentrating at throwing money at the problem and increasing staff’s payment without looking at other factors which could improve the quality of their workers lives.

Mike Shipley, analytics & insight solutions director at Fourth, said. “Attracting and retaining quality employees is one of the biggest challenges hospitality operators now face and with a well-documented shortage of labour, particularly in skilled back-of-house roles, operators are offering competitive rates, alongside development programmes, incentives and other initiatives to attract the best employees, which are all driving up costs.” While I don’t believe the recent increase in offering perks to staff will revert to the level it was approximately 10 years ago where overtimes rates sometimes reached 3x the hourly rate on bank holidays for example. I do think this will be a continuing trend. Businesses will have to look at various ways of not only attracting but retaining staff to create a solid and regular pool of staff. Offering ongoing training and development programs, flexible working shifts and a competitive payment structure is crucial in ensuring your business is not affected with high turnover.

However, I also believe the main solution to counter the staff shortage is to change the general public’s mind set about the hospitality sector. Traditionally it has always been viewed as entry level and a stop gap for most young candidates looking for quick cash. While some companies have started to adapt to the new generations mind set there is still much to do in my opinion to really make the hospitality industry attractive to this new generation.

Empowering employees with knowledge and a clear goal of the company can greatly boost productivity and moral within a team. While it is great the average hourly pay of hospitality workers seems to be above the National Living Wage, it would also be great to see more employers examine what other factors affect staff retention and act upon them.


Nelson Pereira - Recruitment Manager 
03 APR, 19
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