Jobs round-up

More than half of Brits fear for jobs when furlough ends, 500k hospitality roles at risk

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

People moves: the latest news on people moves, jobs and training from across the pub sector
People moves: the latest news on people moves, jobs and training from across the pub sector

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In the past seven days, pub operators Marston’s and Mitchells & Butlers have provided jobs updates, while a number of surveys and industry commentators have attempted to take the hospitality job market's temperature as the furlough scheme winds down.

59% of Brits fear for their job once furlough scheme ends

A survey of more than 11,000 Brits by global intelligence platform Piplsay has found that more than half of workers (59%) fear losing their jobs once the original Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme wraps in October.

What’s more, just a third (33%) feel that the Government’s new Job Support Scheme – set to begin on 1 November​ – is fair and justified. 

The poll, which also found that 62% of respondents have been furloughed or know someone who has been furloughed, revealed that one-in-five Brits claim to have worked while furloughed, with only a third claiming this was their own choice. 

According to CGA’s Business Confidence Survey​ in May, more than four in every five (83%) hospitality operators furloughed at least 90% of their staff during the novel coronavirus crisis, with 96% of sites putting more than 70% of workers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.


Half-a-million hospitality jobs at risk, warns UKH

Industry body UKHospitality (UKH) has repeated its warning that 500,000 of the hospitality sector’s 3.2m jobs are at risk without increased financial support from the Government.

The warning follows a labour market update which shows the employment rate has been decreasing since the start of the pandemic.

“The feeble nature of the employment market is worrying in and of itself, but it masks a much larger worry for the country,” chief executive Kate Nicholls said.

“Furlough support is about to end and we are moving onto a Job Support Scheme (JSS) that will not work for many of our businesses. 

“Our sector is being forced to operate under crippling restrictions, so to pay staff for more than hours worked is an unachievable ask for many venues. Unless support is forthcoming, the outlook is only going to get bleaker.

“We are now on the brink of widespread job losses,” she continued. “Half a million jobs in the hospitality sector are on the verge of being lost. 

“We need much more wide-ranging support for businesses struggling to operate amidst stifling restrictions. Otherwise, the next labour market update is going to look significantly worse.”


2,150 Marston's pub jobs ‘will be impacted’ by additional Covid-19 restrictions

In a trading update for the 53 weeks ended 3 October 2020, Wolverhampton-based operator of close to 1,400 pubs, Marston’s, revealed that despite 10,000 staff members returning to work, around 2,150 pub-based roles currently subject to furlough are at risk, following the introduction of new pandemic restrictions. 

As reported by The Morning Advertiser (The MA)​, Marston’s has reopened 99% of its pubs since the Government permitted hospitality businesses to resume trading from 4 July – though 21 have since closed due to restrictions in Scotland​​ with a further 18 shuttered in Liverpool​​ under the latest three-tier lockdown system.

Marston’s chief executive officer, Ralph Findlay explained that these additional restrictions present “significant challenges” to the business and will make trading more difficult for a period of time.

“I very much regret the consequence of this is that the jobs of around 2,150 of our colleagues will be impacted, but it is an inevitable consequence of the limitations placed upon our business. We will be looking at our cost base further in the coming weeks.”

Marston’s update also revealed that group sales had dropped by 30% to £821m and that primarily as a result of the Government’s enforced closure period to combat Covid-19 total pub sales for the same period had fallen by 34% year-on-year to £515m – though they were boosted slightly by the disposal of 168 pubs for £61m in the first half-year.  

Read more here​.

Half a million hospitality jobs lost since January

A survey of more than 700 companies across the restaurant, pub, bar and fast-food sectors has found an estimated one in five workers have lost their jobs since January.

The latest figures from hospitality software operator Fourth and Wi-Fi provider Wireless Social revealed there has been an 18% drop in hospitality staff headcount compared to September 2019, equating to 500,000 people (or almost one in five) losing their job since January. 

What’s more, the survey also found that roughly 43% of the sector’s workforce remain on furlough with the scheme set to wrap at the end of October before the introduction of the new JSS.

Read more here​.


M&B announces redundancy consultation 

As reported by The MA​, the Birmingham-based operator of brands including Sizzling Pubs, Toby Carvery, All Bar One and Nicholson’s, Mitchells & Butlers, has opened redundancy consultations for staff.

The operator of more than 1,700 sites, which employs some 44,000 workers, said it was unable to confirm any numbers at present and put the redundancies down to the latest Government restrictions.

“Our industry is operating in exceptionally challenging and uncertain circumstances,” a spokesperson explained.

“While we have worked incredibly hard to make sites Covid-19 secure and keep staff and customers safe, we are facing significant difficulties from the recently introduced 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, new enforced closures and tapering Government support that doesn’t go far enough."

Read more here​.


BrewDog sites under construction to create more than 400 jobs

Scottish craft brewer and bar operator BrewDog has revealed that its 20 new bars in various stages of construction around the world will generate more than 400 new roles.

The operator of more than 100 sites globally is currently working on UK openings in Plymouth, Exeter, Manchester, Chelmsford, Basingstoke, Bath, Ealing, Headingley, Huddersfield, Bradford, Lincoln and Belfast. 

Further afield, the company plans to open sites in the US city of Cleveland, Shanghai, Frankfurt, Bangalore, Wiesbaden in Germany, Mumbai and a second site in Paris. 

“Feels like a crazy time to be expanding but we currently have 20 brand new bars at various stages of construction,” co-founder James Watt recently told The Yorkshire Evening Post​

“These bars will all be carbon negative and will create more than 400 new jobs at a time when job creation is badly needed all over the world.”

Whiting & Hammond pub purchase saves 150 jobs

As reported by The MA​, Kent-based gastropub operator Whiting & Hammond has been placed into administration as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with managing director Brian Whiting acquiring three of its sites under the new name WH Pubs, saving 150 jobs. 

WH Pubs will manage Kent pubs the Little Brown Jug near Penshurst; the Cricketers Inn in Meopham; Green Street Green’s the Rose & Crown as well as the Chaser Inn in Shipbourne. 

“Sadly, not for the lack of trying and the continuing added Covid-19 restrictions like the 10pm curfew this has not been possible, unfortunately on the 30 September 2020, we called in the administrators,” Whiting explained.

"It breaks my heart to see the four pubs (The Farm Friday Street, Eastbourne, The Mark Cross Inn, Mark Cross, The Blue Ball Inn, Walton on the Hill & The Kings Head Bessels Green) that we have built up over the past 18 years disappear and the fantastic people that have been on this epic journey lost.” 

Read more here​.

Related topics: Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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