The hospitality industry is on the ‘brink of widespread job losses’, with half a million jobs at risk as the furlough scheme nears its end.
UKHospitality has said that without increased financial support from the government, the outlook for the sector is ‘only going to get bleaker’.
Chief executive Kate Nicholls said that the job support scheme, which follows the end of the furlough scheme this month, will ‘not work for many businesses’ in hospitality, and as it continues to be ‘forced to operate under crippling restrictions’ unless support is forthcoming, 500,000 jobs are on the verge of being lost.
The warning follows today’s labour market update which shows the employment rate has been decreasing since the start of the pandemic.
Nicholls said: “The feeble nature of the employment market is worrying in and of itself, but it masks a much larger worry for the country.
“Furlough support is about to end and we are moving onto a Job Support Scheme 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. 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.”