UK Hospitality gives government '24 hours to save 1m jobs'

Millie Milliken

Millie Milliken

18 March 2020

The body has called upon the government to offer an employment support plan for the hospitality industry as it forecasts loss of 1m jobs

With UK pubs, restaurants, bars, hotels and leisure attractions under increasing pressure to make mass redundancies, UK Hospitality has estimated that since the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK, the hospitality industry has lost up to 250,000 jobs to date and is urging the government for support 'without delay'. 

'Our analysis suggests in excess of 1m jobs are now on the line,' said Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality. 'Job cuts are extraordinarily deep and they are happening now – today and tomorrow, and are snowballing.

'Companies are having to make the very difficult decisions now and with many hospitality and leisure businesses now having to choose to close or massively reduce their operations, there is little chance of saving many jobs without far-reaching help,' she continued. 'What the sector urgently needs is a package of support and funding to keep people in employment. This needs to happen now – within 24 hours.'

While Nicholls said she recognised that 'the extra measures announced yesterday represent significant help', she cited that immediate help is needed for employers who will be forced to let staff go amid worries of taking out loans to pay wages.

'This is about helping individual people to preserve their employment status, and to avoid swamping the already-strained welfare system,' she explained. 'It will also allow companies to keep their teams and be ready to aid the economic recovery when stability returns.'

Nicholls' comments come as the first swathe of bar and restaurant closures over the last 24 hours have seen employers put staff on unpaid leave or let them go permanently.

She adds: 'The speed of change and the severity of the action companies are now having to take is shocking and many, many more jobs will be lost in the coming days, without help.'

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