Thousands of jobs in Glasgow’s pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants are at risk unless the UK Government acts now to extend its job retention scheme.

In the past few weeks the region has started to see a first wave of redundancies hitting workers in tourism and hospitality. Many thousands more jobs could disappear, along with up to a third of businesses, before the current October cliff-edge for the UK Government’s job retention scheme.

This would be a huge blow for Glasgow - and especially for an overwhelmingly young hospitality workforce already carrying the burden of low pay, insecure work and precarious housing.  

Now more than ever, hospitality workers need to know their jobs are secure, their workplace will be safe to return to and the industry will build back better with fairer pay and working conditions. 

Led by Patrick Harvie MSP, the Build Back Better for Hospitality campaign is calling for an extension to the job retention scheme for at-risk hospitality workers before any more jobs are lost.

 

Hospitality and COVID-19: the facts

  • The hospitality sector employs an estimated 31,000 people in Glasgow, or 7.5% of the total workforce. It is the fourth biggest employer in the region by sector (ONS, 2019)
  • As one of the first sectors to close in lockdown, it is likely that bars, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and hotels will be some of the last operations to resume business.
  • The UK Government job retention scheme is currently paying the wages of an estimated 90% of staff employed in the sector. It will start to require employer contributions in August and then end in October (Experience Glasgow, 2020).
  • Current public health restrictions will mean businesses have to operate with greatly reduced capacity.
  • Already many of the largest employers have announced redundancy plans including Kimpton Hotels (The Blythswood Square Hotel), Chardon (Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express), Marriott International and The Restaurant Group (Frankie and Benny’s, Chiquito, Wagamama).
  • Some cities like Liverpool have already moved to grant fund infrastructure which will help businesses adapt, for instance through outdoor seating areas.
  • Before COVID-19 the sector was one of the lowest paid, with more than half of all workers earning less than the real Living Wage (ONS, 2020)

 

I support Patrick Harvie MSP’s campaign to extend the job retention scheme and protect hospitality workers

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