Burger King UK Launches Vegan Nuggets

Burger King UK takes another step toward 2030 seeing a 50% meat-free menu

Burger King UK has today announced the launch of its new Vegan Nuggets, available from 5th January 2022 nationwide in restaurants and via delivery.

The nuggets will be made from soy and plant proteins only, to taste the same as their meat originals and are certified by the Vegan Society.

BKUK is the first fast-food restaurant chain in the UK to welcome Vegan Nuggets to its meat-free menu.

The launch of the Vegan Nugget demonstrates positive progress against BKUK’s target to offer a 50% meat-free menu by 2030, having released the Plant Based Whopper in January 2020 and BKUK’s Vegan Royale, which was awarded launch of the year by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in 2021.

Within this target, BKUK has also pledged to reduce meat in its menus to help achieve a 41% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The roll-out of vegan options forms an important part of the chain’s sustainability charter “Burger King for Good”. In the charter, BKUK has committed to ensure 30% of plastic used will come from recycled content, reduce value chain emission by 41% per restaurant by 2030, and achieve 100% independently certified sustainable sourcing on key products by 2025.

BKUK has also committed to ban single-use plastic to instead opt for 100% recycled or certified packaging by 2025.

Alasdair Murdoch, CEO at BKUK said: “We’re pleased to announce the launch of BKUK’s new Vegan Nuggets across our menus nationwide – a significant milestone for the company and an important next step in achieving our target of a 50% meat-free menu by 2030.

Adapting to customer preferences is a key focus at Burger King – we are committed to helping our guests make good decisions about what they eat and drink and providing them with informed choices – whether through clear nutrition and allergen labelling, or by offering vegan and vegetarian options. The launch is another positive step in reducing our carbon footprint and driving innovation in our menus in response to growing demand for meatless alternatives and products with no animal protein in the UK.”

The original version of this article was first published in Hospitality & Catering News

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Hospitality Awards Open

Cateys 2022: How to enter

The search for the biggest talents and greatest brands in the hospitality industry started this week with the launch of the 2022 Cateys.

The well known hospitality awards are a celebration of all that is great in the industry, and the winners in each category represent the finest that the hotel, restaurant, foodservice and pub and bar industries have to offer.

The most prestigious hospitality awards in the industry will be presented across 22 categories at a glittering ceremony at JW Marriott Grosvenor House London on 5 July.

Winning a Catey hospitality awards is significant because recipients are nominated, selected and rewarded by their peers and, this week, nominations open for those you feel deserve recognition. So if you know of an individual, business or organisation worthy of one of these prestigious hospitality awards, we want to hear from you.

Below is more on the individual hospitality awards and the criteria for that award.

Only those who are nominated go forward to be judged by our panel of past winners and experts from across the industry, so please submit your entries at www.cateys.com before 16 March.

The Cateys 2022  hospitality awards are sponsored by Bidfood, Blue Badge Access Awards, Brakes, Britvic, CH&Co, Entegra, 4C, Matthew Clark, Miele Professional and Tenkites.


Best Marketing Campaign

Accessibility Award

Best Use of Technology

Manager of the Year

Sustainable Business Award

Chef Award

Newcomer Award

Menu of the Year

Pub and Bar Award

Restaurateur of the Year – Independent

Restaurateur of the Year – Group

Health and Nutrition Award

Best Employer Award

Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award

Education and Training Award

Public Sector Award

Foodservice Caterer Award

Hotel of the Year – Group

Hotel of the Year – Independent

International Outstanding Achievement Award

Special Award

Lifetime Achievement Award


The Best Marketing Campaign Award is open to hotel, restaurant, leisure or foodservice operators that have launched innovative, creative and effective campaigns to promote their products and drive custom and business. Entrants will need to submit details of their campaign’s strategic goal, deliverables and success criteria. Judges will be looking for clear and quantifiable campaign goals, measurable objectives, implementation details and evidence of return on investment. Entries in this category may be for an independent business, a single unit within a group or an entire group.


This award recognises the operators going above and beyond the requirements of the Equality Act in accommodating and catering for people with disabilities and special needs. The winner will be an individual hotel, pub, restaurant, foodservice contract or other hospitality operation offering equal levels of customer service to customers with and without disabilities. This category is not open to groups but is open to an individual establishment within a group. All entrants must confirm that they comply with all aspects of the Equality Act. They must produce accessibility statements for both their business and their website. They must also clearly demonstrate that they have understood the business case of providing excellent customer service for a wide range of people with disabilities. Details of the financial case must be presented, including the costs of investment and the return on that investment. Other awards gained or won, plus testimonials from up to three satisfied customers, may be included as supporting evidence.


The Best Use of Technology Award is open to hotel, restaurant, leisure or foodservice operators that have realised efficiencies or driven new business through the development or deployment of innovative and creative information, engineering or equipment technologies. Entries can be for a single business or a group of units. They will be accepted from executives responsible for managing or employing the technology described. Entries must be for project live dates or equipment specification undertaken no more than one year before the closing date of entries.


The winning candidate will have demonstrated proven success in managing and developing a team in the workplace, established a good financial track record and proved their worth over and above the job description, particularly in the past year. Nominations are invited from all sectors of the industry and from all managerial levels.


This award is open for submissions based on option 1 or option 2 below.

1. Continuous improvement over a maximum five-year period.
2. Individual project, innovation or achievement over the past 12 months.

This award will recognise the hospitality operator that has taken the most innovative steps to embed sustainability into their business. Success can be determined by, but is not limited to, mitigating environmental impact, promoting social value though community and stakeholder engagement, and enhancing the business’s commerciality through sound sustainable business activity. The award is open to any hotel, restaurant, pub, leisure foodservice business or other hospitality operation, regardless of size.


This award is open to chefs from all sectors of the industry. It recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry. The recipient must have made a major contribution through innovation in cooking techniques, styles of cuisine and the understanding of culinary processes. The award recognises a wider contribution to the trade, through significant and effective involvement in the fields of education, charity or the general promotion of the industry’s interests. Although the award winner may not be an ever-present figure in his or her own kitchen, it is expected that the recipient will be taking a strong and significant role in the day-to-day operations of an outlet or outlets.


The Newcomer Award is open to all people in the industry who have taken a risk and seized an opportunity and made a name for themselves. The winner will own a business that has been operating for fewer than three years on 5 July 2022 and have established a reputation for quality and service. This will be their first owner-operator hospitality-based business. Candidates can be from any sector of the industry.


This award is open to restaurants whose menu has been featured on the Menuwatch page of the Chef section within a 12-month period ahead of the awards. Nominees are judged on innovation within the price bracket of that particular establishment or contract; good use of seasonal produce on the menu; creativity of the dishes being served; careful marrying of textures and flavours of the component ingredients; value for money; and whether after seeing the menu or selection of dishes, you would be tempted to eat there.


The Pub and Bar Award is open to people who run, own or manage a pub or pub chain with a food element. The judges are looking for sound business planning and a good grasp of financial matters. Flair and innovation are also important. The winner must commit to staff training and customer service and show involvement in the community.


Candidates must demonstrate the ability to combine flair and innovation with good business acumen. They must set standards to which others can aspire. They may own and operate several establishments, but they will not be themed or branded. The judges will be looking for a solid and/or outstanding performance in the past financial year. Financial information must be provided in order to demonstrate good business judgement.


This award is open to individuals who have made their mark in running system-led companies operating branded and themed food and drink outlets. They will operate three or more outlets. The judges will be looking for a solid and/or outstanding performance in the past financial year. Financial information must be provided in order to demonstrate business acumen.


This award will recognise the hospitality business that has shown the greatest commitment and taken the most innovative steps to develop a food offering that caters for the growing demand for healthier and more nutritious eating options in the past 12 months The award is open to any hotel, restaurant, pub, leisure or foodservice business, regardless of size. Entries can be for a single-unit business or for a group of units.


This award will go to the company exhibiting the most enlightened and effective employment practice. The winning entrant will be able to provide tangible evidence that, through their systems, practices and values, they are able to attract, train, motivate and retain the country’s best hospitality staff. The shortlist will be selected from entrants into The Caterer’s Best Places to Work in Hospitality awards.


To enter the Best Employer category, entrants must first get involved in the Best Places to Work in Hospitality awards, which recognise 30 of the best hospitality employers. The Best Employer will be chosen from this shortlist. To enter, visit www.bestplacestoworkinhospitality.co.uk


This award honours an individual who has made a major contribution to the knowledge, understanding and promotion of wines, Champagnes and spirits in the UK hospitality industry. The recipient will display a proven track record for profiting from the sale of alcoholic beverages and training staff in effective wine service; and will demonstrate a wider commitment to their industry, through their involvement in the fields of education or charity. Our winner may work in any sector of the hospitality industry.


This award will go to someone who has demonstrated an innovative approach to continuous learning with particular regard to the needs of the hospitality industry in the UK. They will have developed initiatives in training that have added value and demonstrated an ability to adapt to the changing needs of the market. They may come from any area of the hospitality industry.


The Public Sector Award will go to an individual or organisation who has made an outstanding contribution to the sector. The winner will possess the ability to combine innovation with sound financial performance as well as being able to demonstrate clear achievements. The individual or organisation will have contributed to the sector in the areas of healthcare, education or institutional catering.


The Foodservice Caterer Award will go to an individual working within the private or event sector who has made an outstanding contribution. The winner will possess the ability to combine innovation with sound financial performance as well as being able to demonstrate clear achievements.


The Hotel of the Year – Group category is open to any group hotel of any size and at any market level that demonstrates excellence in its chosen market, consistency of product and service, and success as a business. It should have a healthy balance sheet and be able to demonstrate particular achievements in the past year. It is open to any hotel that is operated as part of a branded group with four or more units. Candidates must provide evidence of financial performance, including turnover, profit, occupancy and room rates.


The Hotel of the Year – Independent will be a business of three units or fewer under a brand or owner. It will be a successful business of any size, category or market level; show excellence in its chosen market; offer an example to which others can aspire; present a healthy balance sheet; and be able to demonstrate particular achievements in the past year. Candidates must provide evidence of financial performance, including turnover, profit, occupancy and room rates.


This award recognises an individual who has had a profound impact upon the global hospitality industry, whether in the field of cheffing, hotels or foodservice. They may be a British national or from overseas. There are no formal criteria and it is given at the discretion of The Caterer team.


There are no set criteria for this award. It can recognise someone from any sector of the catering or hospitality industry. The person you nominate will have made a significant contribution to their sector – but this contribution may not by any means be over. The award may come early in a career, or as recognition of original or creative ideas, or later when someone has established a consistently outstanding record.


There are no formal criteria for this award, although the winner is likely to have enjoyed success over a prolonged period. All of the past recipients have worked in hospitality for more than 30 years and, in addition to their core business, have contributed to the industry in a considerable way.

To Enter the Hospitality Awards click the link below

Enter now at www.cateys.com

The original version of this article was first published on The Caterer News

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Only A Pavement Away announces launch of employment training cafés

Only A Pavement Away, a charity for the employment of those facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans into careers within hospitality, has announced it will be launching a series of employment training cafés in Spring 2022.

The training cafés could be a hospitality staffing Solution. They will be open to the public and created within mothballed sites acquired by the charity from its employer partners. They will be staffed by Only a Pavement Away members as well as an experienced Management team, and will allow those helped by Only a Pavement Away to receive on-the-job training and to demonstrate their work ethic and values.

The goal is to have an Only A Pavement Away Employment Training Café in ten major cities across the UK by the end of the year, helping the charity to reach its target of placing 250 people into work within the hospitality industry in 2022.

Those who staff the Employment Training Cafes will receive qualifications whilst working in a retail customer-focused environment, together with the knowledge and skills required to live independently. They will receive a salary for their roles and the intention is that they would secure permanent employment with an Only A Pavement Away employer partner during their time at the café.

Greg Mangham, Founder of Only A Pavement Away, says: “This is a truly exciting start to 2022 for Only A Pavement Away and the people that we support. Our cafes will provide valuable training and employment opportunities for our members and will raise greater awareness of the role we play working in partnership with likeminded charities to place those facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans into careers within the hospitality industry.”

Since its launch in October 2018, Only A Pavement Away has placed 170 individuals into work, adding c£4million to the economy. In addition, it has helped coordinate the distribution of over £1.6 million worth of donated food & drink from the hospitality industry to those in need during the pandemic.

For more information about the work of Only A Pavement Away visit www.onlyapavementaway.co.uk or connect with the social media pages. Facebook: @onlyapavementaway, Twitter: @apavementaway, Instagram: @only_a_pavement_away and LinkedIn: Only A Pavement Away.

Could this model be used for a hospitality staffing solution on a wider scale?

The original version of this article was first published in Hospitality & Catering News

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Across Europe, hospitality roles are more respected

Importing ideas: What UK hospitality can learn from Europe

Giles Fuchs, Owner of Burgh Island Hotel, takes a look at what lessons the UK hospitality sector can learn from Europe.

With the omicron variant changing travel restriction rules and the effects of Brexit rumbling on in the background, it may seem strange to suggest that the UK can look abroad for solutions to its crisis to fill hospitality roles. But that is exactly what UK hospitality businesses should do.

Across Europe, hospitality roles are respected – even coveted – and work in the sector is seen as a serious profession rather than a short-term means of making money.

As a result, many European hospitality workers enjoy long and successful careers in the sector.

This contrasts starkly with their UK counterparts, whose abandonment of the sector has left two fifths of British hospitality venues at risk of partial or complete closure, according to trade body UKHospitality.

And while three quarters of pub and restaurant bosses plan to increase pay to attract and retain recruits, improving the esteem of hospitality roles will be just as important – and arguably better for the sector in the long term.

Continue Professional Development

Workers move jobs much more than they did a generation ago, reflecting the tendency among millennials and Gen-Z to go hunting for the best opportunities.

They simply will not settle for stagnation, so providing ample Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is absolutely essential for employers.

At Burgh Island Hotel, for instance, we have been guiding our staff in the latest sustainability practices, helping us minimise the hotel’s carbon footprint.

Skills such as this will be particularly popular with increasingly environmentally conscious employees, as well as highly relevant to the running of a hospitality business.

If staff can see benefits for themselves personally as well as professionally, they will feel more valued as people rather than just workers, and will be more likely to remain in their roles.

Plan For Success(Ion)

Staff staying in their roles is only a good sign in the short term.
In the long run, it will be better for them and the business if they experience genuine career progression.

More than two million people work in the UK hospitality sector, but how many of those have been involved in “succession planning”? Probably very few.

Succession planning involves identifying potential leaders and supporting them to grow into roles of greater responsibility.

In other industries, and in hospitality abroad, it is a vital means of refreshing the talent pipeline at senior levels.

In the UK, it would dramatically improve the appeal of careers in hospitality because even entry-level jobs would be seen to lead somewhere.

Learn From Abroad

Offering formalised training programmes and apprenticeship schemes would also help the sector retain its workers, by encouraging recognition of hospitality jobs as highly skilled roles. Beyond this, establishing a dedicated educational institution in the UK, similar to the ESO Euroschool Hotel Academy on the continent, would encourage even more people to pursue long-lasting careers in hospitality.

UK hospitality has so far struggled to deal with the post-Brexit exodus of EU workers, but importing European attitudes towards hospitality work, rather than workers themselves, will actually build much greater resilience in the long term.

Employers who invest in their workers will be rewarded with recruits more inclined to keep their ever-growing skillset in the businesses which helped them develop – and that, of course, will benefit the hospitality sector as a whole.

The original version of this article was first published on Boutique Hotelier

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Hospitality Business Credit Card Payment - KSB Recruitment

Hospitality and Leisure Sector Worried

Hospitality and leisure sector worried for the New Year without Christmas cash reserves

Operators within the hospitality and leisure sector scrabble to retain staff and their businesses for the second year after last-minute restrictions put a stop to festivities for many across the UK.

Post-Christmas restrictions on the hospitality and leisure sector in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could push further businesses to the brink after festive trading was decimated due to Omicron concerns.

For many hospitality and leisure sector operators, the festive period makes up a sizeable chunk of the year’s profit and with January a traditionally quiet month for the industry, there are fears ‘dry January’, where many people give up alcohol for the month, could further dampen trade. This is on top of ongoing staffing shortages and issues related to Brexit, with full customs controls in place since 1 January 2022.

An immediate increase in financial support and the lifting of trading restrictions is urgently needed to prevent Welsh hospitality businesses closures and job losses, UKHospitality Cymru warned. “Across the board, enforced sub-viable trading and the associated cautionary climate has fuelled a festive flop in our pubs, restaurants, hotels and wider hospitality,” said David Chapman, executive director of UKHospitality Cymru.

Venues in Wales saw the introduction of restrictions from 26 December, such as the return of the ‘rule of six’ and mandatory face coverings, with a £120m package announced for affected businesses. “A disastrous Christmas and New Year under the latest restrictions has left many facing a perilous financial position with grants falling way short of what is needed. In particular, retaining staff on current government supports is unsustainable. Nightclubs in Wales are closed but are expected to keep a full staff roster, for maybe as long as two months, with a grant that doesn’t even amount to a busy night’s takings,” added Chapman.

“Their English counterparts are reporting falling footfall and heavy losses even without the stringent additional set of restrictions being imposed in Wales – revenue is at least 25% lower than across the border at present. If financial support isn’t swiftly forthcoming, grave commercial impacts are inevitable, which will hugely damage communities across Wales.”

Edmund Inkin, co-owner of the Felin Fach Griffin near Brecon in Powys, said business was “busier than expected” and there were “enough people to keep things busy”, however for many operators, particularly in urban areas, the last six to eight weeks had been “miserable” and applications for funding were not expected to open until 17 January.

“For those who really are desperate for cash and for whom December didn’t materialise, this lack of speed is fairly fundamental. Albeit that the amounts are small compared to the fixed cost of a venue,” he said. He added that many rural operators were closing during January as business simply wasn’t going to be busy enough. He suggested the reintroduction of furlough would help address wage costs: “Paying our people when they’re not working or not able to work because places are effectively closed, that’s the problem for people.”

On the other hand, he estimated that self-isolating meant around 10% of his workforce were absent, and with the sector plagued with staffing issues already, he predicted staffing shortages will be prevalent come peak season.

In Scotland, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party was cancelled with all outdoor events reduced to a capacity of 500 people and nightclubs forced to close from 27 December. The changes, which will be in place for at least three weeks, also saw pubs and other hospitality venues selling alcohol return to table service and one-metre social distancing.

Nightclubs in Northern Ireland had to close on Boxing Day, and since 27 December hospitality businesses have been restricted to table service only, limited to a maximum of six people, or 10 people from a single household, on top of the requirement for guests to provide Covid certificates.

The Executive announced one-off grants for venues up to £20,000 depending on their rateable value – but hotels were excluded, and funds were not expected to be paid for another two weeks.

“While we’d like it to be as quick as possible, the important thing is people know it’s coming and what the value is,” Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill told The Caterer, who added that the group was lobbying for hotels to be included in the support package. “An awful lot of hotels are food and beverage-led,” he said.

The group estimated that the hospitality and leisure sector in Northern Ireland lost around £250m-£300m during the Christmas period.

“We’re into this quarter, the VAT bills are due, your loan bills are due, we’re heading towards possibly full VAT at the end of March, we’re looking at the rental protections ending – all of those make for a very nervous industry and people are really worried about their survival,” said Neill.

According to UKHospitality, pubs, bars and restaurants lost an average of £10,335 in the week leading up to Christmas, with sales on the day itself down 60% on 2019. Hospitality sales for the month of December were down 12% compared to December 2019 across the UK, according to S4labour. Both drink and food sales experienced declines, with sales down 11.5% and 13%, respectively, on 2019 levels.

London sales were hit the hardest as like-for-likes fell by 23% compared to 2019. Sites outside the capital also saw a drop of 10%. London sales fell on all occasions, with Christmas Eve sales down 38%, Christmas Day down 23.5%, Boxing Day down 25% and New Year’s Eve down 11.5%.

Maria Constantinou, owner of the Arts Theatre Club nightclub in London’s Soho, has meanwhile not seen any of the grants of up to £6,000 promised to businesses in England, which are being distributed through local councils: “I don’t know of anyone in Soho that has had it. There is no sign of [that payment] and no one to contact at the council about it, the process is not good.”

She said she was hopeful there would be a bounce back now the festive period was over: “We didn’t sell any New Year tickets until the last day. But the show must go on, we still have to pay rent – landlords are not giving us any breaks now. Any money we have saved up we are using to pay our bills.”

She said the return of Soho’s popular alfresco scheme, which is subject to a consultation, would be vital to help hospitality businesses recoup their losses in the summer. “We have to start paying coronavirus loans back in May, and if we can open outside it would help our recovery,” she added.

Andy Dempster, operations director at Romet Group, which runs eight restaurants including the Figo and Pivaz brands in east London and Essex, said uncertainty made it “impossible” for operators to plan ahead after a tough December.

He said: “For New Year’s Eve we had cancellations then a raft of bookings, so it was OK but nowhere near what it should have been. How can we strategise or plan forward? It’s hard. We can’t predict how many staff we will need to hire or how busy we’ll be. We normally have a 12-18 month plan, now we’ve got a four-week plan.”

He added: “That’s what’s really affecting most businesses. Big companies that are well-financed can roll with it, as a smaller company everything we do is revenue generated. If we have no revenue, it makes it difficult.

“We were looking to open new restaurants in 2021 but we didn’t get to in the way we’d hoped. We don’t want to invest £1m in an opening for it to be shut down.”

Wildwood and Dim T operator Tasty said that December, normally the company’s strongest performing month, had been “disappointing” and “considerably weaker than anticipated”.

Four of its 54 restaurants have remained closed due to predicted poor trading and labour shortages, and although they are expected to reopen later in the year, the company said it would continue to consider the sale of two or three of the sites.

However, health minister Gillian Keegan suggested further support for hospitality was not necessary as restaurants were “pretty full”.

The Conservative MP for Chichester told Sky News last week: “We put a £1b package of measures in place just before this period, but I’ve been out a couple of times, my sister’s over from the States so we have been out to a couple of restaurants and they’ve been pretty full… people are still going out they’re just taking a lateral flow test before and obviously being a bit more cautious.”

The original version of this article was first published in The Caterer News

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Why One Hospitality Worker Left The Industry

Fed-up Edinburgh hospitality worker on why he has left the industry for good

A fed-up Edinburgh hospitality worker has opened up on why he has left the industry for good after facing difficulties throughout the pandemic due to low pay and uncertainty.

A fed-up Edinburgh hospitality worker has opened up on why he has left the industry for good after facing difficulties throughout the pandemic due to low pay and uncertainty.

Ellis Ridley spent around ten years working in several positions across hospitality, including working in bars, working events and running bar and security teams.

The 28-year-old has worked events across the capital including the Fringe, concerts, events at Murrayfield, and in student bars and clubs including the students association at Bar 50, collecting a breadth of experience from across the industry.

But since the pandemic has made the switch to be a civil servant as he couldn’t take anymore.

Hospitality staff often work long hours for minimum wage, have zero hours contracts and many were let go without any notice when the pandemic forced the nation into lockdown leaving them out of work for months.

Bars and restaurants across the capital are now struggling to retain staff and keep up with the high demand of customers since the industry reopened.

Speaking to Edinburgh Live he said: “I worked at Bar 50 on Cowgate over the pandemic. I left hospitality partially due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and also the general lack of good pay and progression in the industry.

“Especially with the added risks associated with the pandemic.

“Hospitality definitely changed, throughout there was a lot more pressure and work on the staff, from management to bartenders and everyone in between.

“Dealing with the rule changes and staff shortages alongside the often resistant, sometimes hostile behaviour of customers who don’t want to follow the rules.

“It stopped becoming worth it. Though I must say this is nothing bad against the bar I used to work at more and industry thing generally.”

The 28-year-old continued: “Honestly I don’t think there is any job that deserves minimum wage, but for an industry that has always been low paid and overworked, with a lack of breaks, zero hour contracts, long hours, late nights and abusive customers it is truly an insult after the last two years to still be trying to pay the lowest possible wage you can.

“The industry itself ranks near the bottom in terms in pay but near the top in terms of mental health, stress related issues, suicide, and substance abuse.

“So to offer minimum wage, especially when they’re demanding experienced staff (staff they will drop in a heartbeat with no notice should there be another lockdown) it becomes straight exploitation.

“Especially as the minimum wage is rising to £9.50 in a couple months, they could have even pretended to not be exploitative and paid that amount earlier.

“Overall if you’re profit margin is based on paying the lowest possible exploitation wages then you’re either running an unsuccessful business or you’re just straight up taking advantage of people

“It’s worth nothing that they charge about £9 for a cocktail. That’s what they value an hour of their staffs work. 1 cocktail.”

he original version of this article was first published on Edinburgh Live

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UK Jobs Sept – November 2021

Employer confidence in UK economy falls amid uncertainty about Omicron variant

The Recruitment Employment Confederation has released the statistics on UK jobs and opinions of the UK jobs market from recruitment companies across the UK in the quarter September -November 2021. This provides a useful insight into the confidence and hiring intentions of UK businesses.

UK Employer Confidence

In September-November 2021, business confidence in the UK economy fell with 45% of companies advising they believe economic conditions in the UK have worsened. However, employer confidence in making hiring and investment decisions remained positive. 39% of companies said they expect hiring and investment decisions to get better.

Availability of UK Candidates Since Furlough Ended

When the furlough scheme ended on the 30th September 2021, there were 1.14 million people still on furlough. This represented 4% of the UK workforce jobs*.

Whilst there was significant concern that the ending of the scheme would widen the pool of candidates for open positions, this does not seem to have happened. More employers (19%) have experienced a reduction in the number of appropriate candidates for their vacancies than have experienced an increase (12%). For many workers, the end of the scheme meant a return to their former role. This may have reduced the number applying for other opportunities.

UK Permanent Hiring

Despite the uncertainty around the UK economy, in the three months to November, employers’ short-term permanent hiring intentions remained robust. Regionally, demand was highest in the South of England and lowest in London. Nationally, large (250+ employee) organisations were notably more optimistic than the UK’s smallest (0-49 employee) enterprises. However just over 8% of companies were uncertain.

Looking at long term hiring, confidence remained strong. The proportion of employers planning to reduce headcount fell through the individual months of this rolling quarter (from 10% to 3%). Across the quarter, sentiment was highest in the South (outside London). However, 32% planning to add staff and 7% planning to release workers, there is likely to be notable churn.

UK Temporary Hiring

Employers’ intentions to hire temporary agency workers in the short term increased but there has been a lot of uncertainty amongst employers. This has caused 42% to advise they are uncertain about the long term temporary hiring of agency workers. This uncertainty was driven by employers of all sizes in London. Regionally, employers in the South were most buoyant.

UK Jobs Employment Statistics

  • 32.51 million were employed in UK Jobs in August-October 2021, the total UK workforce
    increased by 149,000.
  • Self-employed numbers were down, by 51,000 (1.2%).
  • Temporary employee numbers rose by 45,000 (2.8%)
  • The official vacancy number reached a new peak of 1.22 million in September-November 2021.
    This was 435,000 (55.3%) higher than the pre-pandemic level (Q1
    2020), and 13 of the 18 industry sectors registered record highs

UK Unemployment Statistics

  • The unemployment rate was 4.2% in August-October 2021,
    compared to 4.6% last quarter (May-July) and 5.0% in the same
    period last year
  •  There were 1.42 million people unemployed, 8.2% (127,000)
    lower than the previous quarter and 17.2% (295,000) lower than the
    same period last year.
  • Redundancy numbers also fell to 97,000 from 104,000 in July-September.

UK Jobs Wage Growth

In real terms (adjusted for inflation), regular pay growth (excluding bonuses) for GB employees remained positive across the year to August-October 2021. However for the single month of October, real terms regular pay growth dropped.

The original report can be viewed via the Recruitment Employment Confederation Member Portal 

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