LAW understand the challenges of the hospitality sector.
The UK’s hospitality sector remains as dynamic and fast paced as ever. Employing roughly 10% of the working population, the sector is the UK’s fourth biggest employer and contributes an estimated £73bn to our economy. With a largely part time, seasonal and high turnover workforce, the sector is no stranger to some of the hottest topics in UK employment law and faces growing challenges as Brexit looms ever closer. Indeed, sometimes it seems that the sector faces a disproportionate number of challenges which show no sign of reducing in the future. For example, in recent years hospitality employers have been hit by a number of legal changes around holiday pay calculations in relation to overtime and commission, often coming without much warning as a result of decisions from the European Court of Justice. National Minimum Wage cases can also prove problematic, typified by recent NMW underpayment challenges targeting restaurants and hotels who require staff to wear certain items, such as black trousers or skirts and black shoes. Added to that, the looming prospect of Brexit is causing a great deal of anxiety over potential staffing shortages in an industry which relies heavily on migrant workers. The good news for hospitality employers is that our expert lawyers are here to provide commercial, fast and decisive advice to help you keep those plates spinning. We know your business doesn’t operate 9-5, so neither do we; our 24/7 service is here for you, whenever you need us. Whether it's advising on the intricacies of NMW and holiday pay calculations, or providing strategic guidance on staff retention, training and development, our highly experienced legal and HR teams have your back.
In safety, let’s remind ourselves of some recent incidents:
- A luxury 5 star hotel in Scotland had a fire - two guests died in the blaze;
- A hotel in Crewe was fined £80k for fire safety breaches;
- A hotel in Golders Green was fined £20k for fire safety breaches;
- A former hotel owner in Sheffield was jailed for 8 months for fire safety breaches.
Hotel managers in hospitality have a lot on their hands, and a great deal of responsibility for the safety and welfare of guests and staff. In the busy world of hotels, managers might want to ask: how often do you carry out planned fire evacuations? When was the fire evacuation procedure last considered by the entire management team? What is the audibility of the fire alarm in the hotel? Was any of this discussed with the person who completed your Fire Risk Assessment?
Using a safety consultant who can fully address all aspects of hospitality is crucial. There is no greater risk than sleeping accommodation where your guests expect and rely on robust fire safety prevention and well-trained staff. We at LAW are well respected fire assessors in hospitality. Our Safety At Work team have over 30 years working in this industry alone and therefore we’re excellently placed to address and identify health and safety concerns in hospitality.
We receive an excellent service from qualified people who seek to find practical working solutions for our business.
Head of Human Resources, Jägermeister UK
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