Hospitality industry suffers 98% slowdown

The hospitality industry has now suffered a 98% slowdown as the coronavirus shutdown continues to weigh heavily on the sector, according to research from income streaming provider Wagestream.

Wagestream used aggregate data from multiple workforce management systems to compare the number of shifts available to staff to calculate a like for like decline in monthly activity.

The results show that the number of shifts being carried out by workers in the hospitality industry has fallen 97.96% month on month, deteriorating from a 77.6% monthly fall just two weeks earlier.

Many venues have been trying to provide different services during the shutdown, for example take-away and doorstep delivery, to remain in business. However, the analysis suggests that the pandemic has changed the trading environment so rapidly that the pub, bar and restaurant sector has struggled to make that pivot.

The vast majority of workers are now being furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. As personal liquidity is impacted, Wagestream will continue to allow these workers to access their accrued furlough pay when they need it, rather than waiting for the end of the month.

Wagestream expects to give over 50,000 hospitality workers access to their furloughed income this week alone.

Peter Briffett, CEO and co-founder of Wagestream, said: “You have to remember that the last time a pandemic brought the country to a standstill, in 1918, a hospitality sector of the sort we know today did not exist.

“It’s a human tragedy from the perspective of both people’s health and their livelihoods. It’s clear from these statistics that the commercial and human consequences of the pandemic are so far being managed through widespread use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme.

“Companies must look after their staff as best they can because, when the social distancing rules are lifted, these workers are their only way to get quickly back to business.

“We are continuing to allow client’s employees to access their accrued furlough pay when they need it and this should take away some of the financial pressures they will be experiencing right now.”

Wagestream has responded to the Covid-19 crisis by making its income streaming service free to the NHS and its staff, as well as speeding up the client on-boarding process from three weeks to just 24 hours.

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