The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive, Kate Nicholls, has said she has reached out to the government to safeguard the UK’s licensed hospitality sector amid the fallout from last week’s EU referendum.
One of the biggest concerns facing the industry is its heavy reliance on foreign labour, with the ALMR estimating as many as 40% of the workforce comes from the EU.
In a letter to the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Nicholls also urged the government to protect the industry from spiralling business costs, and a potential slump in investment.
She said: 'The impact of the vote is already huge and it is crucial that we hit the ground running to ensure continued support for businesses.
'Licensed hospitality is crucial to the UK's economy, generating one in eight of all new jobs over the past two years. Crucially, around 60% of our sizeable workforce comes from abroad and 40% from EU states. The government needs to establish a clear and concise road map to provide reassurances for businesses and employees and the ALMR stands ready to assist.
'We need a strong and unambiguous message from the government that it stands ready to act to in the best interests of UK businesses.
'The ALMR is working hard to provide its members with a sense of clarity and we are eager to work closely with the government to provide support for licensed hospitality.'