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Hospitality charity reflects on how reopening will affect workers

3rd July 2020
Posted by Aston Avery

The government recently announced plans allow restaurants and pubs to reopen on the 4th of July, with the additional relaxation of the 2-meter social distancing rule, instead reducing this to 1 meter plus.  This will allow Brits to meet with members of other households at a safe distance, whilst helping to boost the economy and allow businesses to begin to generate revenue.

The lockdown has been a particularly challenging time for workers in the hospitality industry. Research of grant applicants from The Drinks Trust revealed that 31% of those surveyed were made redundant due to the outbreak, and 56% were furloughed. Of those surveyed 70% of the grant applicants were sole household earners, and 19% had dependants living with them. The average monthly income across applicants was £942.06, and even those furloughed by their companies on average would only receive £753.60 a month.

For those returning to work on the 4th of July this may be a confusing and worrying time, and workers may be unsure of how to adapt to the new changes that will be implemented. Government guidelines state that workers should still observe social distancing including the use of one-way systems, workstations being positioned at least a meter apart and not working face to face with others1. Within the hospitality industry, however, this is often not possible. Bar staff often work in areas which make observing these rules difficult and can affect the ability employees have to do their job. The lack of practical support offered to workers in the hospitality industry may lead to confusion and worry upon returning to work.

Aston spoke to Ross Carter, CEO of charity The Drinks Trust to discuss the research in further detail and also was on hand to offer advice:

Photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash