More than half of hospitality workers still on furlough

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Top line: the peak in the number of workers on furlough happened during lockdown two in November 2020 (image: Getty/Ekaterina Molchanova)
Top line: the peak in the number of workers on furlough happened during lockdown two in November 2020 (image: Getty/Ekaterina Molchanova)

Related tags: Legislation, Recruitment, Furlough, Training

Some 55% of pub and bar staff are currently on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, known as furlough) according to official data.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found the peak of the number of hospitality workers on the scheme was hit in November 2020 when 91% were on it. This has now dropped by almost half to 55% at 2 May 2021.

When compared to the levels of furlough being used overall, this is at 8% to 15% in all other businesses using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during the same period.

Since pubs were permitted to trade outside (Monday 12 April), hospitality workers were taken off furlough and placed back into work at the latest data shows this is at just under 60% (54.9% as of 25 April 2021) compared to 8.2% in all other businesses.

Redundancy figures

After Christmas 2020, 12% of pubs and bars reported it was likely they would make redundancies in the following three months. This dropped to about 4% by late February 2021 however, it is unclear if this is because of increased certainty or because job losses had already taken place.

ONS figures also revealed at the beginning of lockdown one in March 2020 there were 38,870 pubs and bars in the UK, employing 467,000 people.

Furthermore, profit losses of all pubs and bars were more than 50% lower than normal expectations for Christmas 2020.

By the end of January this year, pubs were still reporting larger losses of profits when compared with all other businesses for that time period.

Profit losses

However, these losses have begun to drop with about a third (33%) of pubs recording significant profit losses since restrictions started to be lifted in April.

The results from the Business Insights and Conditions Survey from October 2020 onwards, which found in October last year, just 6% of licensees had ‘high confidence’ their establishments would survive beyond three months.

By early February 2021, the proportion of ‘high confidence’ had fallen to its lowest recorded level of 1%.

Those who reported ‘low confidence’ fell from 63% in November to 3% in April 2021 but by early last month (May), this had increased to a fifth (19%).

Related topics: Legislation

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