Hospitality salaries rise ‘significantly’ despite COVID-19 pandemic

In the three months to September 2020, the hospitality sector’s employment represented 6.9% of total UK employment, with 2.38 million jobs in the industry. While in the previous year, the hospitality sector contributed £59.3 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK economy – making up around 3% of the total UK economic output.

However, this huge industry has been the brunt of many difficult losses over the past year – having been one of the hardest hit sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Though hospitality businesses represent 3-5% of businesses in each country and region, due to the nature of transmission of the coronavirus, many businesses have been forced to temporarily or permanently close. Restrictions on trading have had a significant impact on business turnover,  with economic output in the sector down 92% in April 2020, compared to February 2020.

Still, despite such hardship, a new analysis by the Reed Hospitality and Leisure Salary Guide 2021 of over 6.5 million jobs posted to reed.co.uk in the past three years, found that COVID-19 had not caused a significant impact or decrease in overall salary levels.

Displaying a typical salary of £31,760 in 2020, there had been an average 4% growth in salary since the previous year. Exhibiting particularly notable increases include duty managers and head chefs. Reed has explained how this is “well above” the UK natural increase – which was 2.32%.

These figures may come as a surprise when between January-March 2020 and then July-September, the jobs in the sector fell by 6% and with many eligible jobs on furlough.

However, the sector is managing better than expected, given the difficult circumstances. Much of this is as a result of a boost via the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August, the eases on restrictions, and the business support provided through the UK government that has kept businesses afloat.

Words: Seeham Rahman