While some are celebrating Brexit there is no doubt the hospitality industry is greeting the news with some caution. Workers from outside of the UK have long been an integral part of the hospitality trade. In fact, overseas workers amount to almost 25 percent of all staff employed in hospitality. Over the years we have had many employees form outside the UK work in our businesses. Most of our overseas workers have come from the EU. This would sit in line with statistics that suggest that 45 percent of all foreign workers in the UK hospitality are from EU Countries.
Hospitality owners and operators (including ourselves) are now facing the worrying reality that recruiting workers form outside the UK in future could cost well in excess of £2500.
In the event that we leave Europe’s “free moment” Employees would need to gain employment under tier 2. Not only would this cause huge increases to hospitality recruitment costs, but it would create long delays in fulfilling vacancies. Waiting times for visas could cause employers real headaches leaving their business short staffed for weeks or even months. Hospitality leaders fear this could only intensify a already desperate situation. Further more, The Migration Observatory say if Europeans need to clear the same visa hurdles as other foreign workers, more than 90 percent of the 442,000 European migrants working in the UK hospitality sector would not qualify. ABTA have said the hospitality sector could struggle to recover from Brexit as it employs a significant number of immigrants.
Read the full Brexit report from ABTA here.
Only Time will tell how the Hospitality trade deals with any new regulations. It has faced huge shortages in staff for many years especially in the catering sector. Brexit may well have just added yet another hurdle in the path of hospitality recruitment.