More than 750,000 hospitality jobs at risk without urgent Government support

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

More than 750,000 hospitality jobs at risk without urgent Government support

Related tags: ukhospitality, Coronavirus

A survey carried out by UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) shows the sector faces mass redundancies without urgent Government support.

The findings paint a catastrophic picture of the current state of the hospitality industry, with more than three quarters of businesses (76%) currently making a loss.

According to the trade bodies, the grave outlook revealed by the survey reflects views largely canvassed before the full impacts of the Government's new three-tier Coronavirus alert system​ were announced, and so are likely to be an under-estimation of the acute difficulties of the sector’s immediate prospects.

With furlough ending in just over two weeks, and the Job Support Scheme (JSS)​ not viable for most hospitality businesses that have seen their cash flows decimated since restrictions have increased, the survey shows that by February 2021, over 750,000 jobs will be lost against employment figures from February 2020 without further Government support.

Nearly 50% of respondents believe that the restrictions in place will reduce their turnover by at least half this winter.

The prediction for total business failure by the end of 2020 is now estimated to be more than one in four. Furthermore, over 50% of businesses are now expected to fail before the end of Q1 in 2021.

Businesses in the 'medium' and 'high' risk tiers announced by the Prime Minister last week are 'in no man’s land', the trade bodies say.

Without the benefit of furlough and Government disruption grants, they will be under pressure to trade with an impossibly low level of custom, forcing them to make large sections of their staff redundant and to close their doors, potentially for ever.

The trade bodies now urge Government to urgently rethink the support offered to hospitality businesses across all three tiers, to avoid unprecedented levels of unemployment and business failure across the sector.

A joint spokesperson for the trade bodies, said: “There can be no doubt of the devastating impact that the Government’s restrictions are having on hospitality and pub businesses across the UK.

"Without urgent sector-specific support for our industry, massive business failure is imminent and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost around Christmas from a sector that was in growth at the beginning of this year, as well as in the supply chain that supports them.

"While there are any restrictions placed on hospitality and pubs, there must be financial support in place across all tiers of risk.”

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