UK businesses impacted by 'food and staff shortages' says chief
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British businesses have turned to overseas hires and have offered signing bonuses as the number of job vacancies is now 25 percent higher than before the coronavirus pandemic. Despite claims the UK’s staff shortages have been caused by Brexit, a Conservative MSP has pointed out France is also battling against a Labour shortage.
Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP for Mid-Scotland & Fife, shared a report on Twitter which saw a French CEO say the hotel industry is “on its knees”.
He said: “Staff shortages in hospitality are only a British problem, caused by Brexit, apparently. Oh, wait…”
Twitter user Happy Harry also replied: “I have been in Tenerife for the last four weeks.
“Bars and restaurants are having to close on certain days as there are insufficient staff to operate seven days per week.
“Lots of young British people have left the island due to the new 90 day rule.”
Sebastien Bazin, head of the hotel group Accor, said on Friday it cannot afford to raise wages and is having trouble recruiting enough staff.
He told French radio station RMC that Accor currently lacks at least 2,000 employees in France as the tourism market there begins to recover.
Mr Bazin said many former employees had not returned “because they thought about things during the lockdown, because they moved, changed professions, were no longer willing to accept the sacrifice of the working hours”.
He then added: “If I have to pay more, will that be sufficient? No.
“Am I capable of doing that? No. That’s the problem.”
It comes as a quarter of pubs, restaurants and hotels have been forced to shut up shop or close for part of the week because of the UK’s staff shortage.
UK Hospitality found thousands of pubs and restaurants had been forced to slash opening hours, while one in five expected deliveries are not making it to restaurant kitchens.
According to the industry body’s poll of 700 members representing 90 percent of the UK’s pubs, bars and restaurants, revenue is down by a fifth as a result of the issues.
A separate survey found almost half of bars and nightclubs have not been able to operate at full capacity because they can’t find enough security staff.
Research from jobs website Adzuna showed there are currently 26,307 seasonal job vacancies ahead of the pivotal Christmas shopping period.
The figure is almost double the 13,668 vacancies at the same point in 2020.
Analysis from Adzuna showed employers are gearing up to hire an army of more than 130,000 additional staff this winter to meet a rush in demand for goods and services.
The website noted there were more than 1,300 job openings advertising a Christmas bonus, including rewards of up to £2,000 for Amazon seasonal warehouse workers, bonuses of £1,000 for DPD warehouse night sorters, and payments of £500 for new recruits at Ocado, AO.com and Hand Picked Hotels.
Tesco was looking for the most seasonal staff, with 871 job vacancies still open across the UK out of a total 30,000 additional temporary positions at the retailer this winter.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, warned the supply chains for pubs, hotels and restaurants were “nowhere near resilient” for Christmas demand.
She noted about 20 percent of deliveries were being disrupted, leading to food and drink coming through at the wrong times and at higher prices.
She told the Guardian: “We will deliver as good a Christmas as we are able to but not as good as we would want to.”
Tom Southall, policy director of the Cold Chain Federation, which represents the refrigerated logistics sector, also warned shortages of lorry drivers and warehouse staff were affecting deliveries and could lead to shortages on supermarket shelves.
He told the outlet: “Christmas as usual? Probably not.
“How that will manifest itself, there may be gaps on the shelves as we’ve seen over the past few months.”
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