Three key labour challenges in the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality sector

The Taylor report was released in July, earlier this year. This report was an independent review of modern working practices, undertaken by Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts.

This review considered the implications of new forms of work on worker rights and responsibilities, as well as on employer freedoms and obligations. It set out seven principles to address the challenges facing the UK labour market.

The three key issues pertinent to the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality sector were:

  1. The use of zero-hour contracts
  2. Employment status
  3. A call to improve the quality of low paid work in some sectors

1. Zero-hour contracts

Taylor outlines the importance of zero-hour contracts in ensuring flexibility in the labour market. However, he recognises that this flexibility is often one-sided. He is therefore keen to incentivise employers who take a one-sided view of flexibility, so that they don’t rely on zero-hour contracts, short hours or agency contracts. How this incentive will work in practice, however, is yet to be determined.

2. Employment status

Employment status is not a new issue. Most businesses strive to comply with their legal duties but issues often arise when these duties are unclear. The report recognises this, stating that the law must be made clearer so that employers can easily comply with their legal duties, and that there must be consequences for employers who choose to break the rules.

3. Low paid workers

The review sees it as an appropriate time to expand the work of the Low Pay Commission so that it can both make recommendations to Government on what needs to change (including the National Minimum Wage rates) to improve quality of work in the UK; as well as work with employers, employees and stakeholders to promote quality work across all regions and sectors. Hospitality, retail and social care are seen as sectors which have a significant proportion of workers on, or close to, the minimum wage and which could therefore potentially benefit from the review.

You can read the full report hereIt will be interesting to see how the Government responds to the recommendations in the report over the next year or so.

If you wish to discuss how any of these issues may affect your business then please get in touch with a member of our Tourism and Hospitality team on 01903 234094.

A version of this blog originally appeared on the website of one of our MHA association member firms, Larking Gowen.