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As UK hospitality businesses emerge from pandemic-related disruption, other challenges for the industry remain. Among these are resilience, retention and workplace reform, which we consider further here.
Even with social distancing and other measures in place, hospitality remains an industry that involves a high degree of contact among staff, and between staff and suppliers and customers. It is therefore inevitable that COVID-19 infections and other illnesses will have some impact on staffing levels.
Contingency planning therefore becomes critical to ensure that a sufficient pool of staff remain available if an outbreak occurs. For example, it might be possible to operate bubbles for different cohorts of employees, thereby reducing the risk of a single infection spreading throughout the business. It may also be appropriate to implement an adequate sick-pay provision so that staff members are not tempted to attend work when infectious due to financial reasons.
- Resilience, retention and reform top the list of challenges for the UK hospitality industry.
- Contingency staffing plans are needed to prevent disruptions due to outbreaks of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
- Employers are attempting to stave off retention issues exacerbated by the pandemic.
- With the expansion to the ban on exclusivity clauses, it will be important to ensure these provisions no longer appear in contracts of applicable hospitality staff and are not enforced where already in place.