Industry stalwart, Jonathan Raggett has said that his group Red Carnation Hotels ‘will survive this’ as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to take its toll on the hospitality employment sector.
Speaking at The Tourism Society’s annual Prospects event yesterday held at Expedia HQ in London, managing director at the 17-strong hotel collection said that more than 60% of his employees across the portfolio have returned to their home country since the UK voted to leave the EU, due to the drop in the pound, the rising living costs in London and feeling unwelcome in the city.
He said ‘to say it’s challenging is an understatement’, and that it was ‘carnage in hospitality at the moment’, but that he is ‘brutally competitive’ as he pledged to find the staff needed to plug the gap in the business.
Red Carnation Hotels employs a total of 1,000 people with 800 of that figure being non British passport holders.
Raggett said that the group, which was named third in the ‘Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For’ 2015, was ‘doing all they can’ to retain staff, and revealed that they will pay the ‘Settled Status’ for all EU staff if the government doesn’t scrap plans for the scheme when Brexit takes effect.
EU citizens wishing to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021 will have to apply to the government in order to have an indefinite right to remain.
Applications will cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for under-16s.
Earlier this month it was announced that restaurant group Carluccio’s is to pay for its 1,550 non-British EU employees to apply for ‘settled-status’ in the UK after Brexit, becoming the first large restaurant brand to do so.
It is thought Red Carnation Hotels will be the first hotel group to commit to paying the ‘Settled Status’, which will cost the business £75,000.
Red Carnation Hotel Collection comprises 17 family owned and run boutique hotels located in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA, as well as a country gastro-pub in Dorset.