The 3 key labour challenges facing the hotel & leisure sector in East Anglia

6th November 2018 by Fiona Hotston Moore

There are a number of challenges facing the hotel and leisure sector in the UK and in East Anglia in the short and medium term but here are the three top issues.

Shortage of labour

The hotel and leisure sector reflects the wider business community where there is just not enough candidates. The employment rate in the UK remains high and in East Anglia we have lower unemployment than the majority of the UK. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has made things worse as migrant workers choose to return to their home country and fewer new migrants look to move to the UK. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations it is unlikely to increase the number of lower skilled workers willing and eligible to come to the UK to work. Businesses need to ensure they are attractive to older workers and perhaps those returning to the workforce.


Secondly, labour costs are increasing with the increase in the minimum wage and the increase in the People’s Pension rate. Interestingly, it appears that the take up of the workplace pension by the lower paid workers has been higher than perhaps expected meaning that the cost is higher than expected.

Keeping your staff 

Thirdly, the sector continues to struggle to retain staff. The turnover in the sector remains high and this has a significant impact on productivity. Staff turnover is likely to be attributable to a number of factors including unsociable and long working hours, the demands of customers and the perception of relatively poor earnings. Furthermore typically the less skilled workers will be on “zero hours” contracts which is unattractive for those with fixed mortgage and rent commitments.

The successful hotel and leisure business will need to ensure it has strategies to reduce staff turnover, thus boosting productivity and profitability as well as customer satisfaction.  Nice views are never enough!


Fiona Hotston Moore

Fiona Hotston Moore

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