What does Brexit mean for hospitality recruitment? – Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment
UK: What does Brexit mean for hospitality recruitment?
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Brexit has severely restricted the right to work and live in the UK for EU citizens, which will have a significant impact on employers, especially in the hospitality industry.
The difficulties ahead
Although the hospitality industry often faces challenges in retaining and attracting workers, Brexit and the pandemic have exacerbated this situation.
Long periods of leave have forced staff to look for work elsewhere, and now new visa requirements are forcing foreign workers to be turned away at the border, leaving host companies facing a sizable employment deficit.
New entry conditions for foreign workers
Those looking to work in the UK from the EU now need a skilled work visa, which may require sponsorship. In order for a business to do this, it needs a sponsor license which comes at a financial cost.
Workers must also meet skill and salary levels set by the Home Office, in accordance with the new points-based system. The general minimum wage threshold is £ 25,600 per year and the minimum qualification level is RQF3, which is equivalent to an A-level position. Those with lower pay can still apply through exchange points, provided that they can reach the threshold with qualifications or experience.
However, this could be a considerable obstacle for the hospitality sector, due to the large number of “low-skilled” roles.
Applicants must also be offered a full-time position in the UK, which complicates things for bars and restaurants relying on zero-hour contracts.
Possible obstacles to overcome
As the industry slowly returns to pre-pandemic levels, staff shortages in areas such as waiting and food preparation will be the main hurdles for the sites.
In the longer term, changes in reception staff salaries may be necessary. However, this risks becoming a substantial overhead for companies still recovering financially from the pandemic.
The hotel industry may also need to relocate its foreign talent pools and develop new bilateral relationships with other countries such as Australia.
Find a solution
Until the industry can overcome the challenges faced by foreign workers, there are other short-term solutions that can be used:
- Youth mobility program: Available for those in some countries between the ages of 18 and 30, this allows people to live and work in the UK for up to two years. EU nationals are currently not included, but this may be subject to change.
- Graduate Visa Program: Launched in July 2021, this program is aimed at international graduates already living in the UK. It will allow undergraduate level students to stay and work for two years and doctoral students for three years without sponsorship.
It is important that all areas facing extreme difficulties in recruiting workers notify stakeholders of a call for testimonies at the Advisory Committee on Migration (MAC).
MAC can then make recommendations to the government, roles facing shortages can be added to the list of shortage occupations. Jobs placed on this list will not have to meet salary requirements to be approved for a visa.
While Brexit and the pandemic have taken their toll on the industry, all is not negative. Over 6 million EU citizens have applied for the EU Settlement Program, allowing the industry to move forward with those who already live and work in the UK.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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