Hospitality workers prefer the UK despite Brexit

The UK is the most desirable place to work according to 16 per cent of hospitality workers, says new research*. The survey of 21,000 hospitality workers from across the EU analysed employment trends in the hospitality sector.

The findings demonstrate the sector’s increasing global outlook and will cause concerns for employers who do not have clarity on key changes to employment legislation post-Brexit. Switzerland and Germany are hot on the heels of the UK, both with 14 per cent citing as the most desirable place to work. Nearly 24 per cent of respondents stated there are ten nationalities or more in their workforce, showing the diversity of the sector and importance of holding onto EU workers.

The hospitality sector provides jobs to seven per cent of the working population (2.9 million workers, however UK employers will need to compete for talent against global opportunities more than ever post-Brexit. Over 85 per cent of respondents said they are likely or very likely to consider working in another country, with the main motivations for moving being new challenges abroad (19 per cent) and experiencing new cultures (13 per cent). The data will exacerbate worries for employers that the UK will no longer be an attractive environment for workers in the sector following the UK’s exit from the EU next March.

Discussing the findings, Neil Pattison, Director at, said,

The UK offers some of the most diverse roles in the sector with an abundance of opportunities to grow and learn for workers to put down roots long-term. To remain competitive, employers need to consider how supporting candidates through the relocation process and beyond will attract employees. Long term benefits of training and investment and showcasing the new experiences on offer to candidates will allow them to stand out from other global opportunities.

Respondents cited support in getting set up abroad as key, both financially and logistically. Employers could think creatively about easing the transition for workers by support in the flat-hunting process, paying for relocation or providing provisions for families e.g. childminding. Nineteen per cent of respondents cited the importance of new experiences and challenges and it is important for companies to offer an attractive package, showcasing their company culture and work-life balance in addition to the long-term investment by way of ongoing training and development (key for 13per cent) in order to attract and retain EU workers.

Neil Pattison added,

More than half (53 per cent) said they want to work abroad for as long as possible, which shows that working to attract talent to the UK hospitality sector will pay dividends in the long run.


* surveyed 21,228 hospitality workers across the EU. Data updated as of 19-07-2018


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