Labour shortage crisis spreads to pubs and bars as industry issues desperate call to Boris

Such is the lack of staff in the hospitality sector that some venues are urging the Government to issue emergency visas for EU workers. As venues struggle to fill vacancies, some have warned they may collapse if the Government doesn’t step in. The Government has called on businesses to employ more UK-based staff but various venues have warned this solution will not be quick enough to fill vacancies.

Charles Tyler, general manager at Southwark restaurant Paladar: “It’s all very well for the Government to say we need to home-grow our staff and train them – that takes years.

“We need a fast solution for this.

“I’m not saying British people are not good workers but we need more.”

A Home Office spokesperson also told City AM: “The Government encourages all sectors to make employment more attractive to UK domestic workers through offering training, career options, wage increases and investment.”

Due to a combination of Brexit and the pandemic, 300,000 foreign workers were estimated to have left the UK.

As a result, Kate Nicholls, the head of Hospitality UK, claimed the sector needs ongoing Governmental support.

She said: “It’s crucial that the government looks to provide ongoing support for the sector, by ensuring that existing initiatives such as the Kickstart scheme are functioning effectively, as well as working with businesses to get more people into apprenticeships and training.”

Industry leaders have called on the UK to institute a 12-month visa programme to help businesses recover from the pandemic.

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She previously said: “Hospitality venues are still in a fragile state with significant debts, making their first steps on the road to recovery and rebuilding broken balance sheets, any setbacks over the coming months will result in more businesses closures.

“Hospitality is clearly suffering most when compared to other sectors.”

In further news for the hospitality sector, restaurant, café, and pub bosses are set to be banned from keeping tips left for staff.

As workers rely on the additional money to top up their incomes, it will now be illegal for employers to withhold tips.

Labour Markets Minister Paul Scully said the plans would “ensure tips will go to those who worked for it”.

If any employer breaks the new law, they can be taken to an employment tribunal.

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