Hospitality hiring crisis drives up wages by up to 14% as venues turn to temps

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Hiring bottlenecks in the UK’s booming hospitality sector are increasingly prompting pubs and restaurants to turn to temporary staff to keep up with demand, and have forced them to increase wages by as much as 14%.

This is according to the new data from Indeed Flex, the online marketplace for flexible workers. 

The decision to postpone ‘Freedom Day’ in England to July 19 is hitting the industry hard.

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Analysis of pub, bar and restaurant shifts posted on the Indeed Flex platform reveals that temps willing to work at the weekend could benefit most from the rapidly rising wages.

Average hourly pay for a weekend shift is now up 9% compared to this time in 2019.

Meanwhile weekday pay rates have risen by an average of 5% across the UK, far exceeding the 1.8% rise in the minimum wage between 2019 and 2021. 

According to official ONS employment data, the food services and accommodation sector recorded the biggest spike in vacancies – up 265.5% – of any industry in March as lockdown restrictions first began to ease.

Pay increases vary around the country, however, with Greater Manchester and Cheshire seeing the biggest increases in pay.

Hourly rates for temporary workers there have risen by 11.15% for weekday hospitality staff, and by 13.87% for weekend workers compared to May 2019. 

Average pay increase for temporary hospitality workers in May 2021 versus May 2019

RegionWeekday pay increaseWeekend pay increasesAverage increase
Greater Manchester and Cheshire11.15%13.87%12.51%
Wales and South West4.15%11.12%7.63%

Pay growth has been weakest in Merseyside, where hourly rates increased by just 0.84% on average, and in London, where they notched up by only 3.73%

Jack Beaman, CEO and Co-founder of Indeed Flex, said: “We’ve also seen an influx of people opting for temporary work as a post-lockdown lifestyle choice – as it gives them a variety and a work-life balance that a permanent job cannot.

“Temporary workers offer hospitality businesses vital flexibility in the current uncertain trading environment in which customer demand is strong but margins are squeezed.”

Tags : HRMARKET DATApay riseworkers
Zoe Monk

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